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Sat. Jul 8 Jamestown KY to Fri Jul. 14 Mammoth Cave KY

Saturday- We had a quiet morning. After lunch we left and went to Russell Springs to a Kroger’s. On our way back, we drove through Cumberland Lake State Park. They have a camping area, but the sites were not level and are too small for us.

We returned and had a quiet evening at home.Bob walked the nature trail while I read my book. It was so beautiful out, that we sat outside to enjoy the weather. The temp was in the low 80’s and the humidity had gone down.

Sunday- We hated to leave the COE park because it was so nice, but it was time to move on. We drove out of the park around 9:30. Because the road in from Jamestown was so winding and narrow, we turned right and crossed the dam. We drove about 13 miles of winding road, but it was a little bit better drive than going the other direction.

We turned west onto Hwy. 90 and traveled out to I-65, about 65 miles. We turned north on I-65 and went 5 miles to Mammoth Cave Road. We drove west about 1 mile to Diamond Cave and the Thousand Trails.

We checked into the TT and the gal took us in a golf cart to look at sites. We chose A6 and settled in for the rest of the day. Not the greatest site, but not the worst either! We have FHU 50 amp and can get satellite.

Monday- We took the dogs to Toni’s Grooming and Pet Care in Cave City. We dropped the dogs off to be groomed and went to Walmart. The Edge had been informing us that it wanted its oil changed, so we tried to get it done at Walmart while we were shopping. We pulled up and they guy told us it would be a two hour wait. Forget that!

We went shopping, returned to the MH and unloaded the groceries. We went at 11:30 to pick up the dogs. Toni did a good job, but she cut them a little short. Well, it will grow out, but they really do look like sisters now!

We returned and ate lunch. Bob walked the dogs and I went to the book exchange to trade books. I came back with less than I dropped off, always a good thing!

We had a quiet afternoon in the MH, as it is hot and humid.

Tuesday- We drove south on I-65 about 20 miles to the Kroger in Bowling Green. We stopped there to purchase some Cortisone cream for Bob. He was itching like crazy. On his walk on Saturday he had been bitten by chiggers. He has a lot of bumps from the bites. I had also taken 4-5 deer ticks off him.

He went in the men’s room and put the cream on the spots that he could reach. Out in the parking lot I put it on the ones on his back.

Then we went to Valvoline for an oil change.The line was very long so we decided that we would return later. We continued on to the Corvette Museum. We entered and paid the senior rate, $8 each. We toured the facility.

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What beautiful cars! It was interesting to discover the history of this iconic vehicle.

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The name Corvette came from the British Navy. Corvettes are smaller, faster, more maneuverable boats that run around the larger ships protecting the larger vessels.

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The first Corvettes came in only white, with red interiors.

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They have won numerous races and have been the pace car for many races.

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Concept cars below.

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They were repairing cars in this room.

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This mural was on a wall.

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It appears to be tiles, but it is actually little pictures. Really cool!

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The mural was located right before the exhibit about the sink hole.

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You could watch the security camera film of the actual event. It was pretty interesting and really sad to watch it occur.

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20170711_114011On the floor notice the yellow line. They have that line to show where the cave underneath the building is located. There is another line that shows where the cave in occurred. It was kind of creepy walking around there. It made us nervous about the whole area as there are caves everywhere and lots of sink holes.

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Inside the dome above was the Corvette Hall of Fame.

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Below is the only remaining 1983 Corvette. They only made a few that year and used them in testing.

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Below, these were the Corvettes that were destroyed in the sink hole.

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There were 7 total that fell and 5 were totaled. 2 belonged to General Motors and the rest belonged to the museum.

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It was spooky to look down there! Below is one of the two that were repaired. It is the 1 millionth Corvette made and is owned by GM.

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Below is the last one as you leave. They take your picture when you enter and you can view ( and of course purchase) the picture of yourself in a Corvette. We did not buy.

We left and went to The Smokey Pig for lunch. Very good BBQ! Then we drove past the factory. They usually do factory tours, but they are suspended until 2019. We were disappointed that we could not do the factory tour.

20170711_124332 (2) We drove back south to downtown to the Valvoline. We had the oil changed after only waiting about 15 minutes. We returned to the MH and had a quiet afternoon and evening.

Wednesday- We drove the 6 miles to Mammoth Cave. We are actually in the NP, but not that close to the cave Visitor Center, although, since the cave is 400 miles long, it might be under us!

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Notice in the picture, we both have our jackets with us. The cave is 54 degrees. It was 92 outside, and very, very humid. We saw idiots wearing short shorts, halter tops, and flip flops. No jackets! We even saw in the first cave, a husband and wife with 2 baby’s in packs without any blankets or coverings. People are so stupid!!!!

We signed up for two tours. The first was the Mammoth Passage tour. “Visit the Rotunda, one of the largest rooms in the care and explore a vast canyon passageway. Learn about prehistoric Native American explorers, saltpeter mining operations and basic cave geology. This is a short introductory tour to Mammoth Cave. 1 1/4 hours, 3/4  miles long. Total stairs are 160.” This tour was listed as Easy. 

What they did not tell us is that you walk about 1/4 mile down hill. That was okay, but you have to walk 1/4 back up hill!  So that was 160 steps down, then back up, after the walk down the hill and the walk inside the cave. We did it well, but both of us were tired afterwards.

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This is the saltpeter mining area.

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We did not think this through well. We should have signed up for the next tour tomorrow. Oh well! We returned to the MH, walked the dogs and ate lunch. I also baked a pan of brownies for this evening.

We returned to the park for our 2 pm tour. This was the Domes and Dripstones Tour. “Wind down through deep puts and high domes via a 280 step staircase. Vertical cave gives way to large canyons and underground hill climbs. Visit the frozen Iarge formation, then pass though one of the caves most decorative dripstone area. A ten minute bus ride to and from the entrances is included. Formerly known as the the New Entrance Tour. 2 hours, 3/4 mile, total stairs 500 including the 280 decent. The elevation change is 250’. “

We walked out to the bus. There were three buses of people. The drivers took our tickets. The bus ride was hot, as they did not turn on the air conditioner. We left the buses, and walked down 60 steps to the cave entrance. Our guide was Ranger Eric. He is a retired school teacher, a native Kentuckian. He was a very good tour guide! He had a good sense of humor and did a great job. We had another Ranger, a woman, who was the tail gunner! She followed the group of 114 people through the cave. Actually, 111, as three people chickened out at the entrance. They warned us it was dark, narrow, and a lot of stairs. They did not mention the steps we took!

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This locked steel door was the entrance. From there we went down the 280 stairs. They were steep, winding, wet and narrow. There were electric lights but it was pretty dark. Your eyes get used to it after awhile. We had to duck rocks so we did not hit our heads.

We eventually found our way to a large room. There were benches and we waited for the rest of the folks to arrive. There were a lot of kids on the tour, so we waited before we entered so that we were behind the kids. There was a woman from Australia, who had two walking sticks. She was handicapped and still did this. Obviously, she took longer to get down the steps. We went before her.

At this spot, Ranger Eric gave us some of the history of the cave and how this entrance was found. Then we walked up the far end.

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This was the start of the return to the surface. Fortunately, it was long and the walk back up was not as strenuous as the walk down was! Seemed backwards, but that was how it was!

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Flash photography is not allowed in the caves, because of vision. It is a safety issue, so it makes it difficult to take pictures.

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Towards the end, there was an optional 45 step area ( that was a total of 45 down and a mandatory 45 back up). I did not do that, but Bob did. The pictures were like the rest of the area.

We finally hit the pretty area where they had the stalagmites and stalactites. 

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Most caves form with water through limestone. The difference with Mammoth Cave is that it has a dome on top of it. That means that the water does not drip through, forming these formations. This is one of the few areas where this occurs in Mammoth Cave.

I waited for Bob, still inside the cave, as it was so hot outside, and nice and cool inside. We left the cave at a different spot and climbed back on the hot buses and were transported back to the Visitor Center.

When we left the bus, we had to walk thru on a special mat. The cave has White-Nose Syndrome. WNS is a fungal disease of bats that has killed millions of bats in the eastern U.S. As a precaution to minimize the the spread of the fungus from the park, all participants on cave tours must walk on bio-security mates immediately following the tour. So after both tours, we had to do this. It was just a mat in soapy water that cleans your shoes, or feet, if you are wearing sandals or flip-flops!

Do I need to tell you we were tired? We returned to the MH and relaxed for about 45 minutes. At 5:45 we walked over to the Pavilion for a Pot Luck dinner. There were only 6 of us. There was crockpot meatloaf and tuna noodle casserole. Wow, were they good! Then the brownies with some vanilla ice cream for desert. At about 6:30, another man showed up and ate with us. We had a nice time meeting some folks. They are all full timers, and travel between here and 3 Flags TT in Florida. One couple were the park rangers. We heard some interesting stories from them!

We returned to the MH, watched some TV and fell into bed exhausted!

Thursday- We would have stayed home and relaxed today, but the weather is supposed to be rainy tomorrow. So we decided to travel north on Hwy 31 W. We passed through Glasgow, and stopped at an Amish Market. We purchased some items, then continued north to a small town called Munfordville. We visited a bit of ancient history called Kentucky Stonehenge. Basically, somebody had put stones up in their yard to resemble Stonehenge in England.

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From there we took some back roads to 31E. 31 W and 31E are not east and west, they actually travel north and south. Weird, I know!

Our destination was Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace.

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The Visitor Center was free to enter.

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Below is the actual Lincoln Family Bible.

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Below is the family tree.

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Abe’s grandfather came through the Cumberland Gap with Daniel Boone, so Bob is researching to check to see if Abe’s grandfather was with his 5th great grandfather in Fr. Boonesboro! The year, according to Abe, was 1781 or 1782.

Below is a replica of what the one room cabin would have looked like.

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This is a picture of Thomas, Abe’s father. There is no picture of his mother, just a drawing. Now we know where he got is cheekbones!

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Below is a picture of Abe, made by a Vet, from pennies.

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Eagle eye Bob found the Canadian Penny on it If you look under Abe’s chin, you will see a white spot. That is the Canadian penny. We went into the theater to watch the 11:30 movie ( we were now in EST time zone, so it was an hour later). The movie was about his family and arrival in the area.

Next we went outside and walked up the 56 steps (each step represents a year of his life) to the memorial.

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The memorial was built from donations. A replica of the log cabin has been downsized and put into the memorial. Teddy Roosevelt laid the cornerstone in 1909 and President Taft dedicated the marble and granite memorial in 1911.

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Thomas Lincoln bought this 300 acre property for $200. It was called Sinking Spring Farm. The memorial is on the spot of the original cabin where Abe was born. Thomas lost the farm in a Title dispute, after a long court battle. The family then moved to Knob Creek about 10 miles away.

We could see the Nancy Lincoln Inn, which is closed. It was built in the 1930’s for tourists, and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

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We left and continued north to Knob Creek. Thomas had rented the land at this place. The cabin was right on the Louisville to Nashville road.

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This is another replica log cabin, but it is identical to the original and on the original spot. According to the Ranger, someone who was still alive when it was built, had seen the original and made sure that it was authentic.

The farmland looks exactly the same as when Abe lived there.

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The owner of the farm land lost it in a Title battle also, so then the Lincoln’s moved to Illinois. Abe never returned to the area. An interesting fact is that the Lincoln’s were not poor, by the standards of the area. The tax rolls show that Thomas’s income was in the upper 10% of the county, so they were upper middle class for that time period!

We back tracked to town and went to lunch at the Hodgenville Grill, a 4.5 star place on Yelp. Lunch was very good! We had notice that the Grill was crowded when we passed it as it was around 12:00 EST. We arrived back there close to 1 PM EST and it was easy to get a table. We returned to the MH at 1 PM CST and took a nap!

We ate dinner at home and watched TV. All week we have been watching Longmire on Netflix. We finished Season 5 , and are waiting for Season 6!

Friday-We had a quiet day at home doing basically nothing! There are of a lot things to do, but most area targeted to kids and family’s.

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