Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tennessee Trip, Part 5: Tuckaleechee Caverns and the Ride Home

On one of our last days in Tennessee, we took advantage of the free babysitting , left the boys with Pappy and Gigi, and took Sarah to Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend.  Our guide was very knowledgeable, especially about all the ways that Tuckaleechee Caverns is better than Mammoth Cave.

 The extremely low light presented some photo-taking challenges.  Most of these were taken by my brother.

We brought a hiking backpack for Sarah, but sometimes a little girl just needs her Uncle Mike.  Sarah did remarkably well on this excursion.  She didn’t really like when the guide turned out all the lights to demonstrate what true darkness looks like, but I wasn’t really a fan either!  He said that the owners used to take homemade lamps made out of soda bottles and kerosense-soaked rags and play in the caverns as children….to which I can only say: NO NO NO NO not in a million years NO NO NO.

  The stalactites and stalagmites were quite impressive – up to 24 feet high!  This cave did not appear as “touched” by humans as I remember Mammoth Cave being.  It was easy to walk through and had very high ceilings in most places.  Only a small fraction of the cave has been explored.

 One of the cutest little girls I’ve ever seen playing in some of the purest water I’ve ever seen.

 A waterfall!

We had to leave Tennessee and get back to reality all too soon.  The drive back was pretty uneventful – we decided to drive through the night, and while Eli did great and slept his regular amount, we found that it was hard for us to recover from a night of no sleep in the car.  We will have to revisit that decision on our next trip!

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