Monday, June 21, 2010

Bardstown to Mamoth Cave NP 82 miles

I didn't leave outrageously early, around 7am. Apparently Bill tried to catch me and offer me a counter proposal on the arrangements we made concerning my reunion with the group, but the fog made a mess of his glasses and he couldn't see. I had just given up and taken off my sunglasses, accepting the loss of use of my mirror. Here is a picture of a bourbon distillary in the fog.






A second or third episode of horses racing me occured. I just can't explain how beautiful this is.
I smacked another dog, though this one probably didn't deserve it. He was just out for the chase. I told Janelle that I might need rehabilitation when I return home, so I don't continue hitting dogs, even though they are on 6 foot leashes. I am enjoying smacking them a little too much.
I got Hints of the 3 girls several times, though I didn't actually see them, but I did begin leaving love notes for the rest of our group. I think Janelle and Mike might have gotten the first one and Bill and Sara the second.
Richard Kieth offered me cold water with ice. He suspended his drywall work to talk to me.i told him I would rather bike 4,200 mlles than drywall.
I took advantage of a Dairy Queen for 30 minutes to escape the incredible heat. Math question of the day; I went into DQ at 4:15. What time did I leave. Also, I waited for the temp to drop three degrees to 95. What was the temperature when I entered DQ.
Cows fully submerged in a pond.





When I checked the Mammoth Cave NP website I found there was a lantern tour at 6:15pm, so I hustled to get there. With the assistance of a slight downhill, shade and cooler temperatures I was probably averaging 20 mph. I got there at 6:00 and got the "last" ticket. I will never know if they just felt sorry for me or if it was truly the last ticket. The supervisor also allowed me to put my bike inside, since the
Visitor center would be deserted at that time of night.
The tour was cool, both literally and figuratively. 50 degrees and I was soaked with sweat. I did have the wherewithal to take a sweatshirt.
Afterwards, I talked with Bob and Jaqueline from Michigan. They gave me a donation, which will go to The Center For Missing and Exploited Children, whose jersey I wear.
They also sent me copies of the photos they took in the cave. So sweet. Affirmation of Human Goodness.
Here is their photo of the cave ceiling. A little sureal.


And here is the ceiling in a different part. The tour guide told us that slaves and then ex-slaves would give out special candles and let people write their names on the ceiling. For those not wishing to get wax on themselves or who got crooks in their necks, they offered mirrors, which explains the occasional backwards writing.


And here is a picture of the guide and all the lanterns. Thanks for the great pictures Jaqueline!


I needed to hunt around in the dark for the campground, but fortunately it was very close by. The people I asked to orient me to a very dark campground (the Hendersons from OK) gave me soda and tried to take care of me, but everyone knows how I am. Remember the name of the tour: Affirmation of Human Goodness.
I bathed using the sink. Whatever. Showers required tokens, available only in the store, not opened at 10:30pm. Bed, sleep, tired.

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3 comments:

rabjr320 said...

You left Dairy Queen when you finished that extra large chocolate malted milkshake made with vanilla ice cream (hardpack hopefully)and no sooner and at 98 degrees I would have set up my tent inside Dairy Queen and waited out that heat wave till September.

Dugg said...

Hi

Mammoth is beautiful. With a colleague from U. of C., another from U. of K. and my grad student did some research work on cave beetles in a part of the cave closed to visitors (but not to researchers).
Temp in a cave is the yearly average temp at the surface! Brrrrr!
Thanks for the lovely phone call (and one from Dwight too).

Luv
Pops & Moms

biketrekker said...

rabjr:
NOW WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT! I am sure they would not have minded!

Dugg:
I really enjoyed the tour. Not too typical a cave. Dry and devoid of stalactites/stalagmites. There is a tour which is basically a belly crawl kind of tour. Maybe with Dwight.