“I wonder if the rangers need to be accredited?” was a comment I head a young woman ask her partner as I was following a hundred Americans through Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
I almost snorted out loud.
Maybe my attitude was tainted by the little sleep I’d had the night before and the subsequent drive, but this tour was interminably boring. Since you can only see the cave on a tour, I selected one that described the difficulty level as ‘moderate’ hoping it would weed out the old, feeble, very young and unadventurous. However we still had all of the above on the tour, as many people seem to overstate their abilities.
Perhaps my ‘tude also came from being told by the long-haired, red necked ranger that I couldn’t take my bottle of water even though I’d been told at the ticket booth that water was allowed. Apparently it had to be in a see-through bottle. Thanks for telling me earlier instead of in front of 100 waiting Americans.
On the bus to the cave entrance, an old yellow school bus that this time I was not excited to ride, I decided to close my eyes and take a little nap. I was interrupted by the small children in front of me saying “look Grandpa, she’s sleeping”. Grandpa replied “Oh no, she’s just pretending.” So when I did open my eyes to glare at them, I caught 3 pairs of little eyes watching me like I was a Wiggles DVD. Grandpa received my sleep status update with a whisper.
I probably should have cut my $12 loss on the ticket and walked back to the visitor centre from there instead of following a bunch of painful people through a largely unimpressive cave.
The last cave I was in was at Waitomo, New Zealand where I abseiled through two waterfalls and got to rock scramble. That was exciting. The cave before that in Margaret River, Western Australia was incredibly beautiful and full of formations.
This dry cavern wasn’t particularly interesting, even less so when you are traipsing behind oohing and aahing Americans in a conga line that’s enough to make someone claustrophobic.
Thankfully the last little bit of the tour took us through the only patch of stalagmites and stalactites in the 300 plus miles of Mammoth Cave, the biggest in the world. That was interesting, but sadly my enthusiasm had completely disappeared and I needed to get away from the herd.
Now I’m hellbent on avoiding anything that is “family friendly”. I need more excitement than those type of activities can muster up. Or maybe I just need to be more tolerant. A situation greatly aided with a good amount of sleep.