Stops in Shreveport, Louisiana and Mammoth Cave National Park

With our build in La Grange finished it was definitely time to head north and escape the heat and humidity. Except that we had decided months ago that we’d like to stop in Shreveport, Louisiana since neither of us had spent much, time in the northern part of the state.

We explored Shreveport the same way we do any other urban area: By walking around the city looking at stuff and then finding a place with a dog-friendly patio that serves local beer. Despite the high temperatures of late May we stuck to the plan, spending our first morning strolling around the (oddly-deserted) downtown/waterfront area. We started off meandering along the river before turning inland to the Red River District – which featured some neat mosaics and sculpture – and finally crossed the Texas Street Bridge, from which we viewed the riverboats. We then proceeded to Flying Heart Brewery, located on the Bossier City side of the river, to sample some beer. Oh happy accident, their homemade pizza could be made vegan by omitting the cheese which pretty much made my day. I ordered a loaded veggie pizza with their refreshing blood orange IPA.

Then we were northward bound again, through Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, where we stopped for a quick visit to Mammoth Cave National Park. Our driving had been timed so that we could check into at an RV park, leave Abby in the air conditioning, do the 2 hour Domes and Dripstones tour before the end of the day, and then be back on the road in the morning to visit my friend Carrie in Indiana. Our plan went off without a hitch except that it meant we’d literally be spending only a couple hours in the park – which felt slightly ridiculous. But we loved our tour and ended up not regretting our uber-brief visit. As a bonus, the RV park we stayed at had a chicken coop with Abby’s name on it that she was eager to check out.

Mammoth Cave is the world’s largest cave system, currently confirmed at over 412 miles of passageway. Water, seeping through cracks in the sandstone surface rock, has dissolved the limestone below for millions of years creating an underground labyrinth. Our tour descended 580 steps, following the shaft below a natural sinkhole before entering into one of the older, drier sections of cave. Here there were no stalactites or stalagmites, only long-ago stretches of hollowed-out limestone. We then began our gradual ascent through dusty caverns and tubes which at one time were underground rivers. The last 20 minutes of the tour were spent in the wetter sections of the cave where water was actively depositing the minerals eroded from the limestone above. The formations seen here included the so-called Frozen Niagara, a drapery and stalactite feature that resemble an enormous frozen waterfall.