While trying to remember all of the places we stopped at on our way to Florida, there are places that I returned to as a teenager or adult and places I haven’t been in over 30 years. Mammoth Cave National Park is one of those places I haven’t been in over 30 years. In fact, it might even be closer to 40 since I have been there (if we ever find all of our photo albums I should be able to place dates on our visits). As a result, I have only the vaguest recollections.
It was a cave. That part is pretty obvious. We went at least twice, because on our second trip, we did the same walk as on our first, and then my dad went off and did an adults-only tour without me and my mom (he told me later that he had seen some bats, which made me kind of jealous because at that point in my life, bats were something that happened to other people).
All I really can concretely remember of the cave are two parts that are now politically incorrect. One is an area called “Fat Man’s Misery.” I’m pretty sure that only really stuck with me because I remember asking my parents what it had to do with Batman. You see, I thought the tour guide had said, “Batman’s Misery.” The other was “Lost John,” a mummified body in a glass case. Lost John died in the cave over 2,000 years ago, and the combination of minerals in the cave mummified him.
You can still go on the tour that we took. It is now called the “Historic Tour,” though Lost John is no longer on display. He has been interred in an area of the cave where they do not allow tourists.
(originally posted May 25, 2015)