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  • Steve Goldsby

Mammoth Cave, KY - Days 1-3

We headed out from Montgomery, AL to Cave City, KY today on March 5th. The objective was to make the 6.5 hour drive and get setup at Cave Country RV Park. A bit of a traffic snafu around Nashville slowed us to a crawl but we still made pretty good time. Smith & Wesson enjoyed the view until they got bored and decided to take a nap. Must be nice. Oh, that's HALF a tank of diesel.



Cave Country RV Park is a great little park about 20 minutes from Mammoth Cave. It's clean, well kept, has water, sewer and 50 amp service. The staff is VERY friendly and helpful (thanks Luis!). They have a bark park so S&W can run around and make new friends, which they did.


Exploring Cave City

First evening here I did a little driving around. Cave City has a small town feel if you know what I mean. Saw some very interesting sights. Who knew you could rent a concrete wigwam? Everyone was whooped so we chillaxed early.



Cleaveland Avenue Tour

I worked Monday and most of Tuesday (thank you StarLink), then took the Cleaveland Avenue Tour. Great history here. The cave's owner had slaves and appointed one of them, Stephen Bishop, as a cave guide. He was in his late teens when he started, and eventually became one of the greatest explorers of the system, crossing the Bottomless Pit and discovering Fat Man’s Misery, the Mammoth Dome and Cleaveland Avenue. While I can't find anything on the internet, Gary our guide indicated that he even named one massive Gypsum outcropping "Charlotte's Flower" after his wife Charlotte. Smart man! He was given his freedom in 1856 and died in July 1857 at the age of 37. He is buried in the Old Guide’s Cemetery at Mammoth Cave National Park.


This tour takes about 2 hours, Has 400+ steep stairs descending to the cave system, and is about a mile walk. You take an elevator up at the end. If you're disabled, there's a tour that starts at the end and works backward. It's paved and level and wheelchair accessible.




A Surprise

On the way out of the park, I noticed an old cemetery on the side of the road, still on Park property. A large marker had "Gillenwater" inscribed on it. Not a name you see every day, so I pulled over to get a closer look. Sure enough, "Gillenwater". That's my pastor's last name! Shoutout to Eastern Oaks Baptist Church and Dr. Daniel Gillenwater!





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lois.sanford
Apr 12, 2023

Really looking forward to following your journey, Steve. When I retired my husband and I took a 47-day RV trip to several of the National Parks out west, but nothing to this extent. Now I can complete our trip vicariously through you! Enjoy! (posted by Lois Sanford)

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gran33smith
Mar 20, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Wha a great trip! You must put Luray Caverns on your list of caverns to visit. Shenandoah National Park is out that way, as well as Monticello. And you can eat at Michie's Tavern. Luray is a sight to behold.

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danielgillenwater
Mar 09, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

You found my relatives! We gotta be related. There aren't many of us Gillenwater's out there.

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tina.fleming2178
Mar 09, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Love it!

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CR. S.
CR. S.
Mar 09, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Excellent description of the daily adventures, sights and discoveries Steve! Great photos and highlights of this small town. Definitely will follow along for more great info!

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