We have a shortage of whales in Kentucky

Ian Guerin
Sep 4, 2018 · 3 min read

Bryan —

I made it to Kentucky today. I’m spending tonight and the next night at the campground in Mammoth Cave National Park.

This afternoon I went on a short Mammoth Passage tour into the historic entrance to the cave. All the tours cost money in this National Park, which I thought was kind of odd. The Mammoth Passage tour is about an hour long and walks you maybe a half of a mile into the cave. Tomorrow morning I’m going on a substantially longer tour through the cave, but as I arrived after a four hour drive, I needed something to pass the time.

I wanted to write you because I was going through the different tours and there’s this one that seems like the most cave-explorer-y. It takes you through dark parts of the cave, with a head lamp only, and you climb up cave walls, crawl through little passageways; the whole experience! The only catch is, you need a buddy. You can’t do it solo, which leaves me on the sideline. I was thinking about all of the dumb stuff, from creating Pointless TV to potato cannons, that we used to do in elementary school. I was thinking that imaginative, creative, dare I say, “brave” spirit is what you’d need in a caving buddy.

Various views from outside and inside the cave

It’s too bad I didn’t give you a heads up, we could’ve been down 200 feet below the planet’s surface, just pawing through the dark Mammoth Cave.

It’s called Mammoth Cave because of its size. No woolly bullies to be seen. And rumor has it the first European to find the cave was 16 and tracking a wounded bear that he’d been hunting when the animal headed into the cave. And the boy followed. The park has named the entrance Houchins Narrows after him.

Sure to learn more tomorrow on my four mile hike, but I thought I might share this with you today. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours —



  • I got my tires rotated
  • My windshield now has a mysterious crack
  • I made it to my 35th state, Kentucky

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notes from wherever me and the van gogh

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