Historic Diamond Caverns

Historic Diamond CavernsWe hit the road out of Red Bay, AL around 10 am yesterday morning with a final destination planned for the Camping World in Bowling Green, KY.  After a day of torrential rain in Red Bay on Tuesday, Wednesday’s drive proved to be sunny and mild the entire way into Bowling Green.  We headed north out of Red Bay on Natchez Trace Parkway and across the Tennessee river before eventually cutting over to I-40 west of Franklin so we could hit the Flying J.  We popped in there for fuel and got the lowest priced diesel we’ve seen all winter, $3.829/gallon with the RV cash discount.  We’ve applied for their new RV Plus card which should be waiting for us when we get back to Ontario.  The drive around Nashville, TN was moderately busy but we missed rush hour so it wasn’t too bad all things considered.  Between our new GPS (Garmin Desi 560) and Chris & I watching for I-65 north signage, we managed to still come through it all heading north as planned……..bonus!!

Iris Flower GardenOur plan for this week is to cross back into Canada on Sunday but until then we figured we may as well stay as far south and in the good weather as long as possible.  Temps are still in the mid 70sF in this part of Kentucky, Ohio and also in southern Ontario where we are headed, but a cold front is coming through starting Saturday, so we’ll be in the cold soon enough.  We had planned on just parking at Camping World for two nights while we checked out Diamond Caverns and Mammoth Cave National Park but temps are high enough right now that we’d need to run our air conditioners in order to keep Teddy comfortable and bumping the a/c on and off with the generator while we were away didn’t sound too appealing.  So last night, we stayed at Camping World and this morning we drove north on I-65 to Cave Country RV Campground in Cave City, KY.  We are staying here two nights while we explore the caves in the area and then moving north on Saturday.

Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyWe left Teddy in the air conditioned comfort of Phaeton Place this afternoon while we checked out Historic Diamond Caverns, a short 15 minute drive from our campground.  We’ve been to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexixo but this was our time to Diamond Caverns.  The cave entrance is actually under the front of the house seen in the first photo of today’s post.  We descended about four stories underground with our guide and followed a paved sidewalk deep inside the caves.  Diamond Cavern was first discovered on July 14, 1859, when a slave was lowered into a pit on a farm owned by Jessie Coats.  He saw glistening calcite crystals that he thought were diamonds.  The first public was made by a wedding party on August 19, 1859.

Inside Diamond CavernsThe caverns remain at a constant 58F all year long with 100% humidity.  Rain or shine outside doesn’t affect things underground.  The evidence of limestone calcification was everywhere.  Rules are there for visitors not to touch any of the formations so as not to contaminate this cave’s environment.  Flash photography is permitted but back packs, tripods, monopods and video cameras are not.  Tours take about an hour and we had just enough time for photographs as we kept up with our tour.  I used my Canoon 1D mk IV with a 17-40mm lens and my Canon 580 EX II flash connected wirelessly with PocketWizard triggers.  Chris held my flash and aimed it where I wanted as I took photos on the way around.  Ideally, I should probably have brought a second flash with me but we were limited by time and relatively cramped quarters along some sections of the tour, so things worked out quite well with just the one flash.

Diamond Caverns rock formationsOur visit to Diamond Caverns was definitely worthwhile.  Enjoy the photographs.  We are off to Mammoth Cave National Park in the morning.