I've wanted to post these photos from our September adventure into Kentucky's Mammoth Cave for awhile now.. albeit blurry, I'm so happy any of my film photos turned out at all, hundreds of feet below the earth's surface with very little light and in unsteady hands. I began our trek wary and claustrophobic and by the end, I was filled with gutsy excitement and ready for another visit.
Mammoth Cave has hosted spelunkers for many years now, and some early visitors left their mark on the cave walls in the form of smoke signatures created by candles and lanterns. If you look close at the photo below, you'll see C.N. McDowell and the year he visited - 1839.
When the first explorers entered the cave, its depth was a mystery. They had to enter with their backs forward in order to use their bodies as protection for their lanterns so they didn't blow out from the cave's gusts of wind. The power of a single light is shown in the top photo, when our tour guide turned off the guiding lights along the path and pulled out his single lantern, and then only a lighter, its small flame illuminating a massive cavern at least one hundred feet wide. When he blew it out completely, we were in darkness our eyes couldn't adjust to. Unlike when you're out in a pitch black night, there is not a trace of light in the caves - which means once it's dark, it stays dark. Not recommended if you want to find your way back.
One of the best memories of 2012 for me. Happy weekend! Sewing project coming soon.