We stayed at the Mammoth Cave Hotel. Very nice accomodations. This year we stayed in one of the handicapped accessible rooms, since mom had her knee replacement surgery, we thought this would be best. The meeting room was just right outside our door. Not far for mom to walk to visit with family. In years past, we have stayed in the rooms that have a balcony overlooking the woods. Maybe again sometime.
Now, I know you all have this picture of a family reunion in your heads...well this is not it. No barbeque. No sack races. Watermelon. None of that. This family reunion is held at Mammoth Cave National Park. As a matter of fact, this is a reunion for "geneaology buffs". Volumes of family trees, pictures and stories. I love the stories. There is one man in particular, who has that back hills southern drawl. You have to listen to him really closely to catch what he is saying. Not many people know the story of the park, well the real story. Let's just say, when Uncle Sam wants to do something, there is no stopping him. People living their lives in their little homes, and then bam, nothing. Many of these people didn't want to give up their home for a park, of all things. We heard rumors of people being stubborn, not wanting to leave. While they were at church or gone to town for groceries, they were burned out. People sitting with their guns trying to keep their homesteads. It is nice that they have this wonderful park for people to visit, but the next time you go to a National Park, think about the people who used to inhabit that land.
The dining hall is very interesting. This was one of my favorite parts. Not that the food was that great. But the pictures were amazing. If you look closely at the walls, they have all these old photos of the park on the walls. Photos of the original inn, people making baskets and weaving. There is this really cool picture of a wedding in the cave. Of course, that was over 100 years ago. They used to have dining in one of the caves. I'll bet that was interesting, trying to get hot food to those guests.
The animals there are not afraid of humans at all. Did you know that deer love candy corn? There were so many deer, they would come right up to the van. Loads of turkey. Of course, I didn't get any pictures, I was always driving.
Glad to be back home in Indiana!