Toward the end of last year, Holly and I decided to take a little road trip up to Kentucky for her birthday to see Mammoth Cave National Park.  We’d been talking about wanting to see it for a while and after being cooped up since March because of COVID, we needed to get out of the house (okay, *I* needed to get out of the house).  We booked a stay at the neatest little bed and breakfast called the Grand Victorian Inn, which used to be an old train station hotel.  While talking to the owners, we mentioned that we were planning to go to Mammoth Cave, and they suggested we also check out one of the other caves while we were there, and seemed particularly fond of Diamond Caverns. After looking into it, Holly and I decided to take them up on the idea and ended up being very glad we did!  The inside of Mammoth and Diamond caves were quite different, and both were interesting.

In response to the pandemic, Mammoth Cave ended up vastly reducing it’s cave tours, and only allowed tours in the larger areas of the cave, to give people the opportunity to stay physically distant from one another.  The net effect of this was that  you *had* to make reservations well ahead of time to have any hope of getting in (from their website now it looks like you don’t have to have reservations so far in advance now), which we did.  Once inside, the staff did a very good job of keeping folks spaced out, and the cave itself is large enough to allow for it – the cave is HUGE on the inside (mammoth, even).

When I think of caves, I think of stalactites and stalagmites.  Growing up here in the East Tennessee, the handful of caves around are all full of them, and so in my mind, that’s what the inside of a cave was.  Mammoth is something else entirely (though I understand it has some massive features like that as well, but those areas were unfortunately closed off while we were there).  As I mentioned, it was just absolutely huge inside, which was of course impressive in its own right.  That, coupled with some interesting history, made the trip very worthwhile.  What Mammoth lacked, however, Diamond Caverns made up in spades.  The inside of this particular cave was more what I was expecting; lots of interesting features and visual lines going everywhere!  By combining both into the same trip, we essentially got to see both ends of the cave spectrum, giant open rooms and incredible stone formations.  So cool!

Have you been?

More next week!

–Dan Thompson

Title Address Description
Diamond Caverns
1900 Mammoth Cave Pkwy, Park City, KY 42160, USA

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