Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kentucky and Tennessee Cave Vacation November 2012

 We spent a week in November exploring areas of Kentucky and Tennessee.  Most of the time was spent underground, but we did find other things to photograph along the way.  We had a grand adventure and I expect we will return for more one of these days.

 Cub Run Cave

 “Cub Run Cave, located in scenic Hart County, Ky., was first discovered in 1950. It was then briefly shown to the public before being closed for the next 55 years. The cave reopened to the public in July 2006. New elevated wooden walkways and modern lighting were constructed for the public's safety and convenience. Come discover for yourself one of Kentucky's newest and most beautifully decorated show caves!”

 This cave is for sale if you need any Christmas of Birthday gift ideas...

 Cumberland Caverns

 “Cumberland Caverns is located in the heart of Middle Tennessee between Nashville, Chattanooga, and Gatlinburg. The caverns is a short drive from Fall Creek Falls State Park, Rock Island State Park, Center Hill Lake, and Savage Gulf (the Stone Door) and a neighbor of Falcon Rest Historic Mansion. Open for daily scenic walking tours year round.”

 Diamond Caverns

 “For over 152 years Historic Diamond Caverns has offered tours of Kentucky's most beautiful cave. Presented by state-of-the-art lighting, Diamond Caverns features intricate drapery deposits lining the halls in cascades of naturally colorful calcite.  Thousands of formations decorate the cathedral-like chambers. Discover the exciting underground world of Diamond Caverns with your family today.  Located adjacent to Mammoth Cave National Park, a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, Diamond Caverns abounds in natural beauty. “

 Black Bird Invasion!

Harrisburg Covered Bridge 
Watts Bar Nuclear Plant – TVA
“Watts Bar Nuclear Plant is located just south of Watts Bar Reservoir on the Tennessee River near Spring City in east Tennessee. It is TVA’s third nuclear power plant. Construction began in 1973, and Unit 1 began full commercial operation in 1996. In 1988 TVA suspended construction of Unit 2 because of a reduction in the predicted growth of power demand. In August 2007, the TVA board of directors approved completion of Unit 2 and construction has resumed.”

 Forbidden Caverns

 “Tennessee is home to the most caves in the United States, with over 8,350 caves registered to date. Forbidden Caverns, located in Sevierville, Tennessee is one of America's most spectacular caverns. Visitors are provided with an entertaining and educational tour past sparkling formations, towering natural chimneys, numerous grottos and a crystal clear stream. Special lighting effects, a stereophonic sound presentation and well-trained tour guides combine to make this a most enjoyable experience. The trails are well-lighted, with handrails at all necessary points.”

 Great Smoky Mountains National Park

“Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.”

 Hidden River Cave & American Cave Museum

 “Hidden River Cave's Historic Tour descends 150' underground.  Your guide will tell you the history of Hidden River Cave, why it was closed for 50 years and its phenomenal recovery.  Along the way, you will view the remains of a turn of the century hydroelectric system. The walkways take you above the swift moving Hidden River that drains into the Green River.  The trail ends in a large dome room were the river is still at work.”

 Kentucky Caverns at Kentucky Down Under

 “This is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible caves in the US. Kentucky Caverns was discovered in 1799, and opened to public tours in 1922. Tours of Kentucky Caverns are scheduled throughout the day and no prior reservations are necessary. The tour is approximately 45 minutes. This is an active cave: when it rains, the water drips down through the ground and into the cave continually creating new formations! There are many different formations to behold in the cave, such as stalagmites and stalactites, cave popcorn and cave cauliflower. Unsure what cave popcorn or cave cauliflower are? Your interpreter will be happy to explain.”

 Lost River Cave

 “Kentucky's ONLY Underground Boat Tour and the enchanting Butterfly Habitat await you at Lost River Cave. Daylight disappears from view as you board the boat on the river that Ripley's Believe It or Not claims is the shortest, deepest in the world. A comfortable 57 degrees year round, the boat tour offers a visit into the timeless world of a Kentucky Natural wonder.”

 The Lost Sea Adventure

“Your Lost Sea adventure begins with a guided tour of the caverns. This involves a ¾ mile round-trip walk on wide sloping pathways. While touring the caverns and underground lake our guides will tell of the cavern's exciting and colorful history. They will also explain the fascinating geological development of the immense cavern rooms and rare formations. At the bottom of the cave you will board a glass-bottom boat for an exciting trip on the Lost Sea, America's Largest underground lake.”

 Frost on the leaves...

Mammoth Cave National Park Frozen Niagara Tour

“Often the perfect taste of Mammoth Cave for visitors with very small children, elderly family members, or others who cannot walk long distances. Not sure you like close places?  Have trouble walking or managing long staircases? This short visit through a decorative area of Mammoth Cave might be best for you. • 1¼ hours, ¼ mile. Tour limit: 36. Total stairs: 12, plus an optional 98. Elevation change: 40.• Includes parts of the New Entrance and Grand Avenue Tour routes.  • Meets at the Visitor Center. Difficulty: Easy.”

 We did the Niagara tour to see some formations!

 Mammoth Cave National Park Historical Tour

“Been in other more decorative caves, but never in Mammoth Cave? This journey through the natural entrance leads to “classic” Mammoth Cave—landmarks visited by writers, scientists, military figures and celebrities of the 1800s and early 1900s. A great family trip! • 2 hours, 2 miles. Tour limit: 120. Total stairs: 440, including 155 at Mammoth Dome. Elevation change: 300.• Limited areas of the Mammoth Cave Discovery, Mammoth Passage, Star Chamber, River Styx and Violet City Lantern Tours are visited on this route.  • Meets at the Visitor Center. Difficulty: Moderate.”  The area s huge!

Tuckaleechee Caverns

Carved over tens of thousands of years in one of the earth's oldest mountain chains, Tuckaleechee Caverns at Townsend, Tenn., are known as the "Greatest Site Under the Smokies."

I have posted several of my images for sale at Fine Art America.  It is free to look there as well. 
I keep adding to the choices so check back when you can.

Onyx Cave

South-central Kentucky is home to hundreds of caves.  Each cave is unique in size, structure, and appearance.  Caves can be either 'wet,' which are actively forming, or 'dry,' where water is no longer entering the cave.  Onyx Cave is a wet cave that offers its viewers beautiful cave coral, a wall of cave bacon, and a 40 foot column.  Onyx Cave was discovered in 1971 as a parking lot was being constructed for Guntown Mountain Amusement Park; the cave was opened in May of 1973.  The cave is a comfortable 60 degrees year round.  Tours are 30 minutes long and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the unique formations in the cave."  We really enjoyed the closeness of this cave system.

For more info on Kentucky's Mammoth Cave Region go to