Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park

A Park in Kentucky That Shines Brightest below Ground

June 26, 2008, 8:06 am
MY brief Floyd Collins moment came about 100 feet underground in Mammoth Cave, face-down on a rock slab. My group — 14 people on a three-hour “Introduction to Caving” tour, accompanied by two park rangers — had been crawling single-file for about 30 yards between two layers of rock, the human filling in a limestone panini, and now we were stalled. An opening ahead was so tight that Leslie Price, our lead ranger, had told us the only way through was to turn our heads to one side — otherwise our helmets would get stuck — and blindly reach our arms forward, feel around for some ridges and pull ourselves up. Now someone was having trouble negotiating the passage. Tired of waiting on my hands and knees, I laid down on the bare rock. “This would be a nice place to go to sleep,” came a voice from behind.