If you happen to eat at the Taverntine Restaurant at the Mammoth Cave Hotel, you will have the chance to try some Black cherry preserves. They told me it is a famous local preserve. It is amazing!!! This is a must with their homemade biscuts! I know it is crazy to put this as a tip, but once you try this jam you will know what I am saying! You can also buy a jar at the kentucky home gift store next to the Mammoth Cave hotel for $7
The great Onyx cave use to be owned by Ms. Lucy Cox. They say she was quite an entrepenuer, she began giving cave tours and made a lot of money! The good thing about Ms. Lucy was that she was smart enough to protect her cave, she never allowed anyone to damage the walls with graffiti or take any gypsum from the ceilings or walls. Her cave tour at that time was about 1/4 of a mile in. Then she would reach a fork in the road, she would say that she could take you down to the river of the cave, but of course it would cost you more money. She was offering a boat tour there. When the people would pay and then reach the river where the boat was located, she would always have an excuse and say the boat was broken or the river was too low and the people never really got to ride the boat tour. Also at this spot where the road forked, she had a telephone line strung down and she would ask everyone if they were hungry. So she would telephone back up and order everyone a meal at her restaurant, again to make that extra money!
Then later a neighbor, Mr. Lee, took her tour and paced out the tour and was able to figure out that part of her tour was under his property. Mr. Lee asked for $10,000 for the use of his property. She didn't want to pay and he ended up taking her to court. The case took 7 yrs. and the ruling was that someones property included above and below the surface and she was ordered to pay a percentage of her profits from her books. Well some how she didn't have her books any longer, so they decided she would have to pay 1/3 of what she had earned plus interest. That worked out to be in the neighborhood of $25,000, which she had to pay the decendents of Mr. Lee; he had died before the end of the court case. Today in the cave you can actually see where they drew a line indicating where their properties separated!
Let me be clear. I am not a a rabid tree hugger. I do, however, know that some things need to be protected from the masses if they are to survive. I also know that humans in a group can do a lot of damage to their surroundings and it takes a lot of money and manpower to repair that damage. Ever been on the grounds after the fair closes and the crowd has gone home?
What I learned / saw at the Park.
1. A lot of cars and motor homes visit the park everyday. There is no way the Park could keep the roadside clean if people throw trash out the window and onto the roadway.
2. It would take an army to control all the vehicles in the Park in order to enforce highway safety.
3. It's been real dry at the Park this summer. No one burned the place down because of careless fires or cigarette butts. Thank you.
4. Making shortcuts downhill through the woods instead of using the paved walkways lets the soil erode when it rains.
5. The Park has already identified the good places to go for the best viewing of the forest or valleys. You do not need to kill what little grass there is in order to find your own.
6. Scratches made on big rocks, even those above ground, never, ever go away. No one really cares when Kruz178 was here.
7. Touching some of the rock surfaces in a cave induces bacteria and acids that remain long after you have gone.
8. Some people will and have gone out of their way to destroy ancient artifacts. There are artifacts and remains of artifacts in the Cave that are no longer lighted just to protect them from the asses of the world.
9. Some areas of the Cave are no longer lighted just to hide the marks some asses have made on the walls.
10. Regardless of warnings made by Rangers, some guy will still try to take a whiz in the Cave.
The list goes on but I'm tried.