I was in Elementary School the last time I toured Mammoth Cave. At that time there were only half day and full day tours. If you go now you’ll notice that there are several cave tours to pick from. This weekend I chose the Violet City Lantern Tour. I recommend this tour if you’ve already gone through one of the more conventional cave tours; when the cave is well lite. A cave tour by lantern light does not let you see the cave in great detail, however, it has a very real way of connecting you to the cave’s history and allows everyone to personally re-discover Mammoth Cave on their own.
Be prepared for a unique lesson in history as well seasoned guides take you back in time for 3 hours and talk about Mammoth Caves’ relationship to the people. You will retrace the footsteps of 2000 year old Native Americans who frequented the cave and Salt Peter miners from the War of 1812. With 300 feet between you and world above it is easy to slip away to a past where hollowed out Poplar trees and water pumps were considered “high tech”.
As I re-entered a world of sun light and cell phones I was reminded of how far we have come… and how much further we have to go.