It’s been a while since my last post, but that’s the pace of life here in central Kentucky. And I think we’ve adapted pretty well. It’s a small town but because it’s so close to Mammoth Cave National Park there’s plenty do to…or nothing to do, whatever you want! So what have we been doing?
Settling Down in Cave Country RV Park
This is where we hang our hat right now, and it’s a beautiful small RV park right across the highway from Mammoth Cave. We’re here because we’ve never been here before, and Peggy has a workamping gig helping to run the park. She handles reservations and arrivals, maintenance and cleaning, you name it. I think it took her all of an hour to get everything down and she’s a pro now. I managed to catch a shot of her guiding a new arrival into a spot across the way from us. It’s an interesting park, different from the state parks we’ve been staying in up to now. Because it’s on a major north-south highway and about halfway between Florida and the cold north, it’s a prime stop for a lot of snowbirds. That also means most people stay here one or two nights, tops. So there’s a lot of “churn” here, which is great for business. After six weeks, Peggy says she’s pretty sure 60-70% are repeat customers, and another 15-20% are referrals from those frequent parkers.
It took us a week or so to get our site set up properly, between the wind and rain, and then just flat parking in the wrong place. There’s a big fir tree just out of the shot below that was right in the way. I had to back us up about 10 feet and then we had room to set up our outdoor living room. Yep I spend a lot of time in that hammock.
I will say this, Samson is enjoying the place and making friends but he did NOT like his inaugural Kentucky bath day!
There’s a nice little dog park here too, and Samson knows exactly where it is now, makes a beeline for it every time we go for a walk, which is at least three times a day. Because this is a transient park, there are lots of new dogs to meet almost every day. But his best buddies are Smokey and Bandit, the two dogs who live with our workamper partners, Jimmy and Julie. They have been here over a year now, working at the park and watching all the folks come and go.
Jimmy also made us this awesome new step. Makes climbing up into the rig a LOT easier. Also Samson likes laying on it in the sun.
Hiking Mammoth Cave National Park
We still haven’t managed to actually tour the caves yet, but we have spent a lot of time in the park. It’s huge, with lots of great trails and plenty of back country hiking and camping. The terrain here is a little different from the north GA mountains we are used to. Not mountainous, but definitely the Kentucky rolling hills, kind of like a piece of paper all wadded up and then opened up again. It’s also very rocky with outcrops everywhere, and hidden cave entrances. You can see why the caves formed here with all the water and limestone.
Behold! The River Styx!
Somehow I always thought it would be darker, with a scary dude in a boat.
Actually it’s a very short (maybe 100 yards, a solid sand-wedge) feeder coming from underground and flowing into the Green River. Beautiful spot, about a 20 minute walk from the visitor center.
There used to be a railroad bringing tourists into the park from the big city of Glasgow. It was discontinued in the early 1900’s and I believe this locomotive and car are all that’s left.
What else have we done?
Well we’ve spent a lot of time at El Mazatlan here in Cave City. It’s one of the best Mexican restaurants I’ve been too. The food is really good, the staff is always friendly, the service is wonderful and the margaritas are excellent. What can I say? An unexpected gem found in small town Kentucky. We’ve tried out the other local places too, but El Mazatlan stands out. It’s that good.
There’s also what I call “The Strip” here, which is the road from Cave City headed into the park. It definitely caters to tourists visiting the cave, but there are all kinds of things to do from a dinosaur museum to go karts and mini golf, LOTS of rock shops and souvenir places, boat and canoe rentals, zip lines, you name it. All concentrated in about a 2-mile stretch of 70/Mammoth Cave Pkwy.
Last but not least…
Today we are going shopping. Because Peggy needs a silly hat. Because we are going to the Kentucky Derby this year! It’s actually the first time I’ll ever attend a horse race of any kind, so might as well start at the top. It’s a bucket list thing for Peggy, and I can’t wait.