This morning was spent taking care of some insurance business and then after lunch we headed to the Visitor Center for the Cleveland Avenue Tour. This tour was much smaller than yesterday’s tour – which made us VERY HAPPY! Thirty three people today vs. 100 yesterday. Yikees.
After a ten minute bus ride we arrived at the Carmichael Entrance:
After a short history of the entrance and safety information, away we went:
Down 183 steps:
Into this huge area called “Rocky Mountains”. We could not use flash so I do not have a good picture but believe me, it was HUGE with HUGE rocks – . From there we entered “Cleveland Avenue” - a tubular cave – WOW!:
These are gypsum flowers – check out the different formations:
During the Civil War troops came to this area, stayed at the hotel, and took cave tours. They found this gentleman’s name on the hotel registry and a few years ago his ancestors were on one of the tours:
This area was used by both the Confederate Troops and the Union Troops. Kentucky was the one state that remained neutral.
Many people who visited the caves and explored the caves, left their names. If it was dated before 1941, it is considered historical. After that it is considered a felony.
We continued on the Avenue:
The geologists think this mile long tube was caused by a slow moving river because of how it is shaped and the fine dirt on the cave floor:
As we walked along, the rangers told us about the explorers of these caves and some of the social history.
After a mile, we arrived at the Snowball Room:
How about that! There were restrooms there too. It is named the Snowball Room because of the gypsum formations on the ceiling that look like snowballs:
This room was used for parties, proms, dinners and all kinds of celebrations. I asked if it is still used and was told “officially no” but there was a brand new commercial coffee maker there – HMMMMM (I think there is an elevator nearby too…)
Many people who came left their names. If you think about the dates – 1800’s up to 1940 – and what it took to stay here, those folks had a higher income than most.
After a short break, we walked a mile back to the entrance and up those 183 stairs – whew! – to the bus and back to the Visitor Center.
The weather continues to be beautiful so we enjoyed another campfire this evening.
Tomorrow we will continue our journey west so stay tuned and enjoy today!