The second state we decided to check off our Bucket List was Alabama. After Google-ing unique things to do in Alabama (because really, what is there to do in Alabama?) we decided to go camping at Cathedral Caverns State Park. So after Cody got home from work on Thursday, April 6th, we finished loading up the car and started the ten hour drive to the top northeastern corner of Alabama. We finally crossed the Alabama state line at about 7:00 the next morning.
It took us about another hour and a half to get to the campgrounds where we had our pick of the campsites and went ahead and got set up.
We then drove up to "get registered" and buy our tickets for the cave tour for the following day. I say "get registered" loosely because we probably could have camped there for days without them ever realizing we were there (in fact, I think one of the families that ended up camping there Friday night probably never paid for their campsite). It was pretty laid back. We spent the rest of Friday relaxing, walking around the park, reading, making a campfire and eating hot dogs and s'mores. We pretty much had the grounds to ourselves till about dinnertime when other campers started showing up.
On Saturday, we took it easy in the morning and waited to go do the cave tour until 2:00. I think there were 14 people in our group including our guide. The cave tour was amazing! I've never been in a cave that massive before. It took us about an hour and a half to walk as far back as we were allowed and then back out of the cave. The most incredible part of the experience in my opinion is that, except for the walkways and handrails that have been put throughout the cave, everything else about it has been untouched. There was one tunnel we went through that had been blasted out, but only because the natural tunnel floods at certain times of the year so it's unsafe to use it. I think for most of the tour through the caverns, my mouth was hanging open because I couldn't believe how expansive they were.
|in front of the cave opening|
|from the inside looking out of the natural cave opening|
If you're looking for something cool to do in Alabama, I would definitely recommend Cathedral Caverns State Park. We spent another freezing night in our tent Saturday, and spent Sunday packing up and driving home. Alabama: done! 2 down, 48 to go.
What little-known treasures in the U.S. would you recommend we try to see?