Tim and I left Amish country and drove about six hours to Bardstown,KY. We spent one night there. I love Bardstown. It has lots of old buildings and is in the middle of bourbon country. Makers Mark and Jim Beam are just minutes from Bardstown. My favorite place to visit there is "My Old Kent
ucky Home" state park. I had been there once before as a kid. It was nice to share this visit with my husband. Kentucky' state song was written by Stephen Foster when he visited the family that owned "My Old Kentucky Home." The house is set up for tours and they have beautiful gardens on the ground. Stephen Foster also wrote the state song for my current state, Florida. Florida's state song is "Suwanee River." Mr. Foster was one of America's first professional songwriters. He copyrighted his music but music piracy was even more prevalent in the mid 1800's than it is now. Stephen Foster died poor but he left us many great songs. I think that "Beautiful Dreamer" and "Jeannie With the Light Brown Hair" are ageless melodies.
When Tim and I left Bardstown, we headed to Mammoth Caves National Park where we spent two nights at the lodge at the park. I lived my first 40 years in Ky and never made it to the caves.So it was on my list of things to do this summer. Mammoth Caves did not disappoint! Tim and I did two different tours. They have probably about a dozen different tours that encompass different levels of physical activity. Our tours were considered moderate.
The first tour we took was the two hour historical tour. We entered the cave the way visitors in the 1800's entered. The park ranger, Jerry, who gave us our tour was an anscestor of one of the African-American slaves that had explored many areas of the cave in the early 1800's. Jerry was full of information and had a great sense of humor! If you ever tour there, I hope you are lucky enough to get him as a guide. A few things that I learned is that the cave was used for mining sulphur during the war of 1812. Original cave tours allowed participants to write on the ceiling with candles. One area of the is The Rotunda. This area is huge. In the mid 1800's church services were held in the cave and even singing events. We had a choir from Arizona that was on our tour and Jerry allowed them to sing a song at the end of the tour. It was amazing to hear their beautiful voices echoing inside the cave. Mammoth Caves is a dry cave, which means it does not have a lot of stalactites or stalagmites ( I am sure that I probably said and spelled these names incorrectly). Wet caves produce these forms. Mammoth caves is home to species of fish and crickets that are eyeless. Living their lives in darkness, these creatures had no use for their eyes and over time they evolved into their current eyeless state. I will save the second tour at mammoth caves for my next vacation part. I hope I didn't ramble too much! I also have a pic of my finish of "February" from LHN monthly threadpack. Stay tuned for my last installment of my anniversary travels soon!