Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mammoth Cave

Total Miles 16.98 Miles....Easy..............OUTCAST TOTAL: 887.38 Miles

Mammoth Cave Lantern Tour......3 Miles
Good Springs Trail.............4.21 Miles
Collie Ridge Trail.............0.67 Miles
DAY ONE: 7.88 Miles

Collie Ridge Trail............2.02 Miles
Good Springs Trail............2.08 Miles
Service Center to Mammoth Dome Sink Trail 1 Mile
Mammoth Dome Sink Trail.......2 Miles
Overlook plus Heritage trail...2 Miles
DAY TWO: 9.1 Miles

Marco and I headed to Kentucky for an overnight hike. Neither of us had been to Mammoth Cave so we thought that we would check it out. They have 300 miles of cave, 60 miles of hiking trails, and 27 miles of river to explore.

We left straight from work and caught the first tour they had when we got there which turned out to be the three mile lantern tour. They had some really cool guides that fed us a lot of information about the cave. We were amazed as to how large this cave is. It took us three hours for the tour. While we were waiting for the bus the one tour guide about talked us out of hiking with his warning about the snakes and ticks. He was pretty descriptive about what the bites would do. We ate lunch at the restaurant there and then headed to the hiking trails.

We got to take the Green river ferry across the river which can take up to three cars at a time. From there we headed to the Good Spring Church trailhead parking. Since we didn't reserve a spot we took the available campsite which was the Collie Ridge Campsite. Marco went to sign in at the trailhead marque. The last person to write in it wrote down "WASPS" in big print. Marco looked up to see a swarm of wasps looking him in the eye. He slowly backed away from the marque. Needless to say we didn't sign in.

The trails were in good condition and as we hiked we were thinking about the tour guide's warnings. We passed a couple of horse back riders who asked if we had seen any yellow jackets. They told us that in the last week they had to haul two different people off the trail because of stings. Well isn't that nice. It wasn't a quarter mile more down the trail when Marco said the dreaded words.....SEED TICKS! And the panic began. We picked, swiped, and finally drowned them in DEET.

We hiked on the the campsite. They have a good size site and there was water flowing at the spring. We washed first to finish off the ticks and then set up camp and collected firewood. The temps finally dropped down to where we could get a fire going so we could tell some lies and take some cough medicine. We also tried out Marco's new platypus gravity filter which turned out to be pretty impressive.

The next morning we got up and hiked out. When we got back to the car there was another couple that were heading out on the trail. They had a blow up double size air mattress carrying between them. He was carrying a gallon jug of water and she had a backpack on. Kinda makes you wonder.

We drove back to the Visitor center area and parked at the camping store. From there we hiked to Whites cave and then the Mammoth Dome Sink trail. We hiked back to the restaurant for lunch. After lunch we headed out for home.

This park has a alot of activities to enjoy and I know we will be back to do some more hiking.