Friday, April 29, 2011
We're in Kentucky!
We went on the Historic Tour in Mammoth Cave this morning. It's a dry cave so no stalactites or formations. It was interesting but not as pretty as most of the caves we have been in. There were about 120 people on the tour! Way too big of a group but that's how they get everyone through. We mostly just walked and at a couple of places the guide would stop everybody and tell us what we had seen. We made our way to the front of the group and were able to talk to the guide while walking so it made it a lot more enjoyable.
Entrance to the cave
Going down into the cave
Our guide. Walking out of the cave.
Our guide told us that over 10,000 years ago Paleo-Indians hunted animals in the Green River valley near Mammoth Cave. Some artifacts found in the cave have been carbon-dated back 4000 years!
Around 1816 people started to visit the cave. The price of a ticket at that time would be equivalent to about $200 now. Only the very wealthy visited the cave. For an extra fee, they were allowed to write on the walls with soot from a candle. Stephen Bishop was a slave who was owned and leased by the cave’s owners. In 1838, at the age of 17, he started guiding visitors into the cave. He was the first person to explore many miles of the cave.
It's hard to tell from this picture but one of the signatures is dated 1839.