Monday, September 5, 2005


You are in Debris Room.

If you understood the title of today's post, and the line above, you are likely a geek with a misspent youth, much like myself.

Today we crossed the Markland Dam into Kentucky, traveled very briefly east back along the Ohio to Warsaw, then south on KY35 past the Kentucky Speedway and the small town of Sparta, eventually rejoining US-127. We followed that south into Lawrenceburg where we picked up the Bluegrass Parkway (not to be confused with the Blue Ridge Parkway) west to US 31-E, marked on our maps as scenic. That took us south through the birthplace and boyhood homes of Abraham Lincoln, and we stopped at the birthplace memorial.

Continuing south on 31-E, Louise observed that we would pass withing striking distance of Mammoth Cave National Park. This is a place I have always wanted to visit, ever since that #@$% game I alluded to at the beginning of the post ate my brain my first year in college. So naturally, we diverted west to see it. Of course, we only got to tour part of the more well-known and public parts of the cave system, and not Bedquilt Cave upon which the original Adventure game was based.

We arrived at the cave just in time to take the 3:45pm "Historic Tour," a two-hour, two-mile trek through the first parts of the cave to be discovered. Unlike some of the caves we have toured recently, these rooms were all dry, and undecorated. Still, it was impressive both in size and in history.

While I may never get to see the real Bedquilt, no matter how many times I say XYZZY or PLUGH, I was glad to finally be, at least, in the same cave system. Even just scratching the surface (so to speak) of this gargantuan cave system, as we did today, provides a glimpse into another universe.

Since we left the cave after 6pm CDT (and our bodies are still on EDT, where we were this morning, so it felt like 7pm), we decided to stay here at the lovely park service campground near the cave headquarters (map). The place is mostly empty, though I suspect they were pretty full over the weekend.

Tomorrow we head south to Nashville and the Natchez Trace Parkway. Large sections of the parkway were closed last week due to storm damage from Katrina, but the park service's Morning Report on Saturday indicated that it has now been reopened. The parkway travels an interesting and historic route, and while the storm may have taken some of its beauty in the short term, it will also be interesting to see the damage as it stands today.

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