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Old 22 Oct 17, 02:51 PM  
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CrispyA
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Touring Tennessee: Day 17 Mammoth Cave National Park

We didn't have high hopes for breakfast at this Super 8, especially after the miserable experience of Crossville, but we were pleasantly surprised by both the size of the dining room and the food on offer. They had the usual hot and cold offerings but also had mini waffles which were rather nice. The waffles you make yourself at most hotels are usually too big, so we liked these little ones.

We wanted to horse riding, so called to the Jesse James riding stables on our way out but we were too early, so decided to come back later. The next stop was Mammoth Cave National Park, which was absolutely heaving with visitors. We had deliberated about booking a cave tour but didn't want to be tied down to a particular time, so decided to give it a miss in favour of going hiking.

However, due to low water and the ferry not running, we couldn't get to the most interesting hiking trails and all the cave tours were now full, so we looked for a walk near the visitor centre. There looked like quite a nice trail with views of the Green River, so we headed out.

We did indeed get views of the river.



Then we formed another Boy Band



before heading right down to the river.



Near to the river, you could see the entrance to one of the caves and we saw this deer standing about halfway up the hillside.



We watched it for a bit, then turned to head back up the trail and then the heavens opened.

We tried in vain to shelter under the trees but it made no difference at all and we got soaked to the skin. Lovely. It wasn't cold, at least, but walking in soaking wet clothes really isn't very much fun, especially when your undies are drenched as well. We did manage to grin and bear it though.



In a park full of caves, only we could be nowhere near one when we needed some shelter.

We are very British though, so we carried on along the trail. We came to the entrance to Mammoth Cave and had a good look at it. You can see the line of mist in this picture - in the mist, there was a marked drop in temperature, but if you stood up on the wall and got above it, it was much warmer. Strange.



Back at the visitor centre, we called into Spelunkers Cafe and got some sandwiches for lunch. Everyone else was starting to dry out, but my shorts were made of material that wanted to hang onto every last drop of water, so it's a good thing there were no seats available, otherwise I'd have left it looking as though I'd had an accident.

We did have a look in the shops but again, the souvenir shirts etc were disappointing, especially the women's range which was very small and not nearly as nice as the men's stuff. I would have loved a hoodie with a bat on it, but alas it was not to be. I did get a fridge magnet though.

We went back to the hotel to get changed before the horse riding as it would have been a very uncomfortable experience, involving a level of chafing that nobody would have wanted otherwise. Then we drove back to the stable, which was about a 5 minute trip, noting all the adverts for Country hams. They sure do love their hams in Kentucky.

We arranged a riding session with a very friendly lady who was possibly a character from Justified, and went down the corral to wait for our ride. There we bonded with one of the horses, who we named Biscuits.





We were hoping to get the ride to ourselves and were a little disappointed when a couple of other families turned up, which was admittedly quite selfish of us. When we got our horses, I had Maggie, while Evan had Onyx, who liked to walk with it's head very close to Maggie's butt. Paul got Big Booty Judy while Hannah rode Taz - who had allergies and kept sneezing.

My horse was at the front of our family and although I tried my best to get her moving, Maggie only had one speed, which was slow. Hannah's horse, Taz, kept us all amused by stopping to sneeze which was pretty cute.

The ride was quite good fun but it would have been good to go on a trek that had really nice views as this was mostly through the woods around the farm.

After the ride, we headed back to the hotel for a quick swim, mindful of the black clouds gathering in the sky. There was another dramatic rain storm after we got back to the room so we waited it out, before heading out to the nearby Mexican, El Mazatlan. My sister had eaten there during their visit to Cave City and she recommended it - not just for the bargain Margaritas!

The food was very nice and the Margaritas were large and also very cheap. There was a comedy moment when the waitress was completely unable to understand Hannah asking for water. She tried a few times and then Paul tried, using an American accent this time and she finally got it. Next time, we just asked for it in Spanish instead!

We ate and drank our fill before strolling/waddling back to the hotel. It was one of the nicest Mexican meals we had eaten and it was a good tip from family.



Back at the hotel, we watched a couple of episodes of Criminal Minds, because you can never have enough serial killing, before settling down to sleep.
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Old 22 Oct 17, 03:10 PM  
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Melbatb
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Wet pants are never much fun 🤐

Shame about not getting in to the caves. Lovely horse ride - even with the sneezing!

The evening meal (and drinks) sounds delicious. I am looking forward to mexican food when we go to San Diego at Christmas!
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2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City - Hong Kong - 2022 Arizona
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Old 22 Oct 17, 04:32 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Wet pants are never much fun 🤐

Shame about not getting in to the caves. Lovely horse ride - even with the sneezing!

The evening meal (and drinks) sounds delicious. I am looking forward to mexican food when we go to San Diego at Christmas!
We love Mexican and it's so great for vegetarians as well.
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Old 22 Oct 17, 05:48 PM  
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Old 24 Oct 17, 08:31 AM  
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katiebaz
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Wet shorts are never good, but glad you enjoyed your horse ride with the Crowes!

Also glad you enjoyed the Mexican, the margaritas were lush and only about $3 each!
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Old 28 Oct 17, 02:05 PM  
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WileyCoyote
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Oh no to the soaking - very stoic to carry on !
Slightly random horse selection but a fun thing to do
Dinner sounds great and lol, those tv series are just the best holiday viewing , we always end up with Blue Bloods or Without a Trace as our staples !
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Old 6 Nov 17, 10:00 AM  
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We've often had trouble ordering water in the US too. One time we gave up and just got a coke instead. So now we just ask for 'Waa dur', which seems to work!
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