Mammoth Cave National Park, KY…

After our hours at Stones River NB, we got back in the van and followed Vaughn and the 5er into Kentucky.  We pulled into the Diamond Caverns RV Park, which is located inside of the Mammoth Caves National Park.  We stayed there for 3 nights.

Living in an RV doesn’t mean that it’s always a picnic.  We have to do all the same stuff that you have to do in a house.  Sometimes there is a lot less of it (like vacuuming – we have much less space to vacuum, but probably have to do it more often).  But we ARE blessed to have lots of help…  🙂   Peanut and Molly are really into drying dishes right now, and Emma is really into doing them! <3

While we were at this park, we went to Mammoth Caves National Park.  The Jr. Ranger program here was really easy, so Molly did it too – well, she started, but never finished, so no badge for her.  Course, they might not have given her a badge anyway if they actually checked her answers:  Daddy was reading What Would A Ranger Do out of the booklet and recording her answers for her.. he asked her “if a rare cave cricket were crossing the path in front of you, would you tell everyone so they would be careful not to step on it?”.  Molly, “NO!  I would squish it with my shlip-shlop, like this!” and stomps on the floor with her flip flops, several times, with gusto.  Or, Daddy “if you are walking around in the campground, and you see some litter, would you just leave it so a family can use it to start a campfire with?” Molly:”yep, and roast marshmallows!”  No badge, but we all got a good laugh out of it anyway.

We walked down the path…

and into the entrance of the cave.

There was moss and plants growing all over the walls down into the cave…

The entrance to the cave was beautiful.

looking up from the sidewalk below…

we didn’t actually take the cave tour.  It was a little long for the littles, and we had been warned that if we had been to Carlsbad that this would be a let-down – it’s just a long cave with lots of nothing…  and at a later park, we had a ranger, who had worked at Mammoth Cave for years, tell us that we hadn’t missed anything 🙂 
So that day, we opted for the shortened visit so that we could check out the rest of the park too.
After coming up from the entrance, you have to walk through these little areas (below) which have a squishy pad that you walk over that is soaked with a disinfecting solution that will kill any bacteria on your shoes.  There is some bacteria that they are fighting that will kill off the bats (white nose syndrome I think – didn’t take notes and that was nearly 2 weeks ago ;). 

We drove through the park, which was beautiful.  We saw lots of turkeys, but we didn’t see any deer, which are supposed to be very prevalent also.

We did, however, to the delight of Savanna and Molly, find all sort of caterpillars, which they think are much nicer than deer!
We took a walking path and found inchworms, which the littles were enraptured with – I don’t think we have many inchworms back home – at least not out in the country.
Our walk (if you can call it that, it was .1 miles! LOL!) took us to this cave entrance, where years ago a caver had become stuck and later died.  I don’t remember if the cave was collapsed in by the rescue efforts years ago, or if this closure is from the park service to make sure the area is safe for park visitors.
All in all, we were a bit disappointed in Mammoth Cave, it was more like a tourist trap than a National Park.  But, we did like our drive through the park since we think that this whole area of the country is beautiful!    To be fair, there wasn’t a lot to check out right now, but according to the rangers, the new wing of the visitor’s center, a museum, is slated to open later this spring.  From the floor plans, it looks like it will be very interesting and educational.  We would like to go back once that is done, but not so much before  😉
We spent some time at the RV park each night getting the laundry caught up, and the littles thoroughly enjoyed the nice playground they had there.   This was really our first visit to Kentucky; we went to the Creation Museum the first year we traveled, but didn’t really spend any time in the state.  We are loving this area of the country, and can’t wait to get back!

Lilla Rose

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  1. You should stop at a Dollar Tree and pick up a couple of Bug boxes for the little girls since they like catepillars. They are only a dollar and have a plastic container with a neck strap, a built in magnifier, and some plastic tweezers. My grandkids love theirs and it would be something they could do while the bigger kids were doing junior rangers. We always let the bugs go before we leave their “neighborhood”.

  2. The cave is the Sand Cave and Floyd Collins was trapped in it and died. The book Trapped, the story of Floyd Collins is a great book for your older kids (especially the boys). It totally freaked me out and still does. They would love it.

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