Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Part 3: Gap Cave
I will learn to use my camera to properly take pictures in low light. I promise it’ll happen someday, really. But unfortunately this is yet another cave I’ve been in where I can’t really show you all the underground formations.
Gap Cave is a fairly typical example of a Karst cave, formed by (acidic) water erosion of limestone. There are five levels of the cave that have been explored with the bottom level submerged by an underground river. The ranger-led tour of the cave included the usual topics of cave formation but what made this cave special was the Civil War graffiti of both Union and Confederate soldiers who were stationed near here. The second level of the cave, where the tour exits, was even used as a hospital at one point and an ammunition dump starting in 1861.
Finally, on the day of the tour of the cave there was a most spectacular sunset back on the Kentucky side of the park. Facing almost directly west, the mountains were perfectly silhouetted against the oranges. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer end to the day: