Camping in Mammoth Cave National Park
In October, Julia and Sasha camped solo in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.
At the last possible minute, we chose to book a campsite in Mammoth Cave National Park. We had planned to go somewhere else with a friend, but she got a migraine so we had 3 days for an unexpected adventure. We looked for the closest national park, which turned out to be Mammoth Cave. By the time we decided where to go we were too late to book online, so we took our chances with getting a spot onsight. This wasn’t a big deal because we there were plenty of open spots, and we got to scout out the best one from among the available spots, so it was actually pretty dope. Luckily we could book our cave tours ahead of time, so we chose 3 different tours in 3 different caves.
Until we got to the park we had no idea Mammoth Cave is the biggest cave system in the world—that humans have discovered and walked through, anyway. The earth has only been explored to like 7,000+ feet, so there is clearly a lot more under there. And Indiana has more than 3,000 caves, so imagine how many countless caves are under our feet that we’ll never know about. During the tours, we learned about the Kentucky Cave Wars, the period of time in which private landowners on whose land caves were discovered competed for tourists and exclusive rights to the caves. One dispute is so famous that law students in Canada study it for its importance regarding property lines.
For this trip, we slept in the Tepui tent on top of Sasha’s Subaru. We made several fires with a giant blow torch and cooked sausages, bacon, burgers, and eggs. We also pioneered the brilliant act of frying our gf bread in bacon PHAT. I also poached my eggs in this kind of teapot and got a bunch of egg stuck in the spout, so not a good move. In future, I’ll bring a pan specifically for poaching. Teapot damage and subsequent cleaning notwithstanding, we agree that campfire-cooked bacon, sausage, and eggs are next-level delishus. They truly nourish the soul and warm every inch of your body. Which, in a 50-degree campsite, is a plus.
One of the nights, we were snuggly and cozy in the Tepui in the middle of the night when a loud and crazy thunderstorm soaked the camp chairs, the hammock, and Sasha’s camp slippers. :[ Apparently, tents can get wet in torrential rain storms even with their rain flies out, but Julia had no idea about this. She never once considered that we would get wet in the snuggly, warm Tepui with our organic, lamb’s wool comforter and toasty, bison-wool socks. And alas—we did not get wet! The rain fly worked perfectly, and we stayed one hundo percent dry and warm and snuggly and buggly. The next morning, we sat on extra blankets on the camp chairs and made our soul-enveloping, heart-warming, tummy-nurturing breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, and BACON PHAT-fried GF bread with FTFTW organic decaf coffee.
During our stay, we also hiked a bunch of trails, saw the sunset at Sunset Point, and observed the expansive ecosystem that is a fallen tree trunk. We never showered, and we rotated between the one daytime outfit and one sleeping outfit, only changing out our FTFTW organic-cotton Pact underwear. We spent so much time around the fires that on our cave tours the other tour goers complained of a smoke smell.
The trip was a perfect break from regular life in a beautiful setting. 10/10 we recommend a trip to Mammoth Cave the various tours.