So the Princess says “Let’s stop at Mammoth Cave” it might be fun.
Now if any of you have ever been in a cave before you will know certain facts about them. They have no elevators to get you down into the cave. They have no elevators to get you up to the top once you have gone down. Mammoth’s claim to fame is they have more stairs than any other cave in the world. It is like a “Stair Master” on steroids. Did I tell you I was going into the cave with the Princess?
Princess does not do stairs well, one hand on the hand-rail and one hand in mine. Who knew those pretty little fingers all polished and decorated with Silver could act just like the “Jaws of Life” the firemen use. I hadn’t experienced that much pain in my fingers in 36 years. Not since the nurse said “now breathe out and PUSH”!
Princess is pretty light on her feet when she is in the down the stairs mode, but as the saying goes (and who am I to question) what goes down must come up. Totally unconcerned, the Princess gets to the bottom of this damn cave. We are approximately 12,000 miles below the surface of the earth.
We are both panting like a couple of newlyweds on the first night of their honeymoon and the “Prison guard” that took us down says “OK time to go to the top! (Ya right after the surgery to put my lungs back into my chest).
For those of you that are not in construction. A normal step is 7” high up to the next one. At Mammoth Cave the bottom 10 steps followed code then they started to increase the distance between steps and near the top each step was somewhere around 3 feet up to the next one.
Now Princess is small for her age, not frail mind you but small, at the bottom that is. Starting out she was her humorous and jolly self. By the time we made it half way up she was asking me to just leave her and put a marker at the top with her date of birth and R.I.P. on it.
Two thirds of the way now and she is threatening to jump over the edge and take our family jewels with her if I make her go one step farther. I had to resort to trickery by letting her rest a few minutes, PRYING her fingers from around my Black and Blue hands. I would sneak on up around a corner then return and tell her I could see the top. You might think she would catch on after the first few times but I think her brain was starving for oxygen because she would fall for it. By this time we are both panting like a race horse that just finished third at Church Hill Downs.
Conversation has stopped as we have no air to move our vocal cords and communication has reduced to simple grunts and hand gestures.
Well we made it out and it has been 3 days now. The yellow pallor has left my hands from the bruising of Princess’s vice-like grip and I can once again hold a coffee cup in my left hand. Princess is able to sit up and take nourishment but still not sure she can scale the three steps to get in and out of the motorhome. She says it is something about her “No feeling from the waist down”. One thing has come from this experience. WE ARE NEVER GOING INTO A CAVE AGAIN!!!!
(On Edit by The Princess: You know he’s exaggerating right? I would never ask to have my birth date on any marker )
Here are a few shots of the magnificent formations inside the cave – some ‘draperies’ and a new term we learned – cave ‘bacon’. Just click on the photo for a larger image or check out our web albums here.