In early December, I decided to take an early leave on Friday and take the family on an extended weekend trip to Mammoth Cave NP in Kentucky. Amongst many things, we spent the better part of one afternoon touring the caves with an excellent Ranger guide. It was a pretty deep descent via a winding, claustrophobia-inducing staircase of over 500 steps. I was nervous for Kara’s anxiety, but she was a trooper and everyone enjoyed it. Raelyn and I went back the next day for a 3 mile round-trip hike down past some river bluffs to a natural spring and back to the visitor’s center parking lot. The surrounding area has tried to become touristy to capitalize on the NP being there, but the sideshows weren’t our cup of tea…very “Pigeon Forge”ish. High marks for Mammoth Cave NP though – super nice exhibits at the visitor’s center, excellent tour and tour guide, and a beautiful place to visit.

I think we are going to try and visit at least one national park each year going forward. With Vera’s arrival due in late February-early March, we’ll probably keep it more local in 2015. That being said, I’m planning a late summer trip up to Cuyahoga Valley NP here in Ohio.

Anyways, here’s some pictures that we took along the way.