#NPCApicstakeover: Stef (@iStefPayne) here again with another pic from national parks in the southeastern United States. Venturing today to park 6/59: Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.
This cave! I was really excited at the moment I snapped this photograph because we were about to head into the first cave of our yearlong quest, which also happens to be the largest mapped cave -- system IN THE WORLD. And on top of it, we were heading in with Ranger Jackie, a superstar park ranger at Mammoth and an avid caver himself. “Hey Ranger Jackie! When you tell your wife you are spending your day off in the cave, do you tell her that you are going spelunking?” His reply: “Spelunking? What’s that?! No. We don’t go Spelunking. We go caving.” Mammoth Cave is a grand, gloomy and peculiar place indeed so it is no huge surprise that Jackie would want to spend his off -- time exploring it. More than 400 miles are currently mapped and it is believed that there is double that length yet to explore. It is a wonderful yet vulnerable feeling to be surrounded by Earth and at the mercy of the limestone walls and a sandstone cover that has saved the roof from collapse for millennia. Ranger hats off to all who keep us safe down there while walking with us inside of the planet.