Saturday, April 12, 2014

Natural Tunnel and Mammoth Cave

One last post about our travels from the Barkley back to Texas...

We found several interesting parks along the way to explore and run in, starting with Natural Tunnel State Park in Virginia.

View from above down to the river where it exits the tunnel into a large bowl:

Looking back up to the high bluff:

The exit spot of the tunnel where the river and a railroad track come out:

Bit of railroad track and a man-made version of a tunnel:

Enjoying a nice run on a cool morning:

Another hole in the ground, this time at Mammoth Cave National Park:

The tour at Mammoth Cave was really interesting, but I didn't attempt any photos from inside.  It was the "Historic Tour" and quite different from other caves we have been in.  For one, it had multiple levels, dry on the upper part and with water rushing down to the bottom level.  We didn't see a lot of formations, but we experienced only a small percentage of the actual cave.  Many of the caverns were huge, and the tunnel network went on and on, over 400 miles of known length with more still unexplored.  Pretty amazing.

We did fun runs around Mammoth and at our next stop, Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas.  Hot Springs is a curious place, and we'll be back when we have more time to try out an actual spa package there.  For now we were mostly just passing through.

One other big accomplishment for the trip - we're running on solar!  John finished the installation of the panel and all the parts, now we're testing it out to see what it can do.  Dry camping just got a whole lot better.  Well done, John!

Our spring driving tour was a success - 6 high points, racing in one new state (a 10K in North Carolina), a complete solar system installation, an amazing Mardi Gras experience, 2 new National Parks, a NABCEP recertification class for John, Waffle House whenever we wanted, interesting coffee shops for WiFi, great places for running, new friends, and 2 Barkley loops.  Awesome.

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