Two summers ago, my mother and father decided to go on a road trip to Franklin, Tennessee to visit some family friends. I desperately did not want to go on the 10 hour drive, in my mother’s small car, seated next to my 19 year old, older brother. A few weeks before we set off for the trip, my mom decided that we were going to stop in Cave City, Kentucky to visit The Mammoth Caves for about a day and a half.
The eight hour drive down to the caves was full of beautiful landscapes, family bonding and complete boredom. When we finally arrived in Cave City and got to our hotel room, we discovered that the beautiful pictures taken of this place that could be found on the website, were probably taken many years ago. The lights flickered, the air conditioning didn’t work, and we found a few insects roaming through our room. It was pretty disturbing. After leaving our suitcases in the room we went to find something to eat. We soon discovered that nothing in this small town was open. Finally we found a Pizza Hut, we waited about ten minutes to be seated in the mostly open restaurant. When the waitress arrived at our table, she began to quickly speak, so quickly in fact that no one understood a word that she said.
After eating, we drove back to our hotel. But on the way there I paid more attention to my surroundings. The stores in the town, for the most part looked like they were vacant, and every person we went past had a deadpan expression on his or her face. It definitely was a strange community.
The next day, after a completely sleepless night on rock hard mattresses, we headed to the Mammoth Caves. On the way there we were bombarded by lots and lots of tourists traps, the signs saying, “Buy Real Mammoth Rocks”, “Come see MAMMOTH FOSSILS!”, “Take a picture with a Dinosaur!!”. But the absolute best tourist trap of all was a small fair located on a cliff. Complete with a flimsy looking ski lift that took you across the forest under the cliff which was worked by a man who seemed to be sleeping. It didn’t seem very safe.
The Mammoth Caves were extremely beautiful. It was amazing that something like that could be made naturally! We took two tours on that day, one in the afternoon and one at night. And both were spectacular, we saw two different parts of the cave and it amazed me that there was still so much left that I hadn’t seen. I was DEFINITELY not looking forward to going back to Cave City
That night, after we went back to the hotel I discovered that the shower head barely worked, only dripping, and the water that DID come out smelled foul. So I decided to skip the shower. As I attempted, once again to sleep on the rock hard mattress, outside of our hotel room, there were two voices yelling at each other, and this continued for almost an hour. By the time it stopped, it was about two in the morning. I couldn’t wait to go to Tennessee the next day!
The rest of the vacation was not quite as memorable as my time in Cave City. I will always remember the interesting things that happened there. Along with the issues that presented themselves. And needless to say, I do not plan to return back to Cave City in the near future.
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