Monday, September 24, 2007

Wigwam Motel, Mammoth Cave and Big Moose's BBQ

When Greg, Mark and I stayed in the Wigwam in Holbrook, Arizona on a trip across Route 66 two summers ago, the following morning I proclaimed, "When you CAN sleep in a Wigwam, you SHOULD sleep in a Wigwam." Well, I stand by that, and the phrase has even become famous as The Lope has used it in a book now. OK, famous might be a stretch, but it's in a book.

Wigwams were once a small chain, but there are now only three left - Holbrook, Arizona; Rialto, California and Cave City, Kentucky. We stayed in the Arizona and California ones on that trip, but I had not been to the one in my home state of Kentucky until this past weekend. Finally, my Wigwam Triology is complete.

In a burst of energy or stupidity, depending on your point of view, a group of us came from Kansas, Missouri and Ohio to meet in Kentucky for a Wigwam experience.

From Left to Right, that's Greg, Barb, Natalie and Ace, Mia, Will and Richard, me, and Mark.

Wigwams are way cool. I had number 4 this time. There are 15 of them in Cave City - some with one bed and some with two. Greg and Mia had number 3, Mark had number 5 and Barb and Richard and their family had number 6. Each is basically the same with its own little bathroom and cool furniture. You even have your own little parking spot beside your Wigwam.

And the view from inside the Wigwam has this cool profile. You can even see the sign in the distance from my front door.

There's a bigger Wigwam that is the office and gift shop, and two smaller ones that are restrooms beside it.

They're built in a big circle, with a drive that goes behind them.

Friday night, Barb and Richard built a fire in the little fire pit in the middle. We roasted hotdogs and marshmallows. It was very cool.

Cave City and Holbrook both have some original furniture still left. Very, very, very cool.

Wigwams also have the cutest little bathrooms with the oddest little angles. The mirror angles down at you over the sink and the shower has more corners than you can imagine. I love the tile in these.

Cave City tells us they may have to give up the tile because it's getting worn. They have a lady in Bowling Green that re-canes their furniture for them. It's way cool. Did I mention it's cool?

And, Cave City isn't called Cave City for no reason - Mammoth Cave is nearby, which we also visited.

At various times we all took the Frozen Niagra tour. It's only a little over an hour long and has about 80% of the pretty formations in the cave.

Mammoth is the longest cave in the world. I've been on a longer tour before, but was content to take this nice, easy, pretty tour this time.

Previously I did a tour that involved a lot of hiking. With my "overstretched arch" in my right foot, lots of hiking was not on the agenda for me this time. The foot continues to improve, but a multi hour hike would not have done it much good.

I have to say that the rangers at Mammoth Cave are the nicest ones I've ever run across - not that park rangers aren't always pleasant, but the ones at Mammoth Cave seem to be particularly fond of their jobs and genuinely happy to be interacting with the public.

This tour had an optional part of it - 49 steps down to see another part of the formation. As the guide put it - there are 49 optional steps down and 49 mandatory ones back up.

If you took the steps down, you saw this "drapery" overhead.

And this large stalagmite.

This tour had a lot of pretty formations to see...

You could peer down into Crystal Lake...

Our guide, Jeff, told us there was about 10 feet of water in it now. It has been very dry there lately.

In fact, the park has two ferries, which were closed until late August. I took one of the ferries the following day when I did some sight seeing around the park and took in some walking trails and some scenery. It's a beautiful area.

I did hike down to the famous sand cave where Floyd Collins met his demise in the mid 1920s. Floyd was looking for a new cave - a new tourist attraction - and got caught in a collapse. Newspaper accounts of him being trapped brought about 10,000 people there to witness the rescue operation. Unfortunately, Floyd was found dead about two weeks after the initial collapse.

I also visited some historic churches and soaked up the atmosphere.

To top off the trip, we discovered a fabulous restaurant in nearby Glasgow, Kentucky - Big Moose's BBQ. Mark and I went there one night before everyone else arrived. When we mentioned we hadn't been there before they gave us a sampler platter of all their side dishes, all of which are delicious by the way. That's not because we were special, although we do like to think so at times - they give a sampler platter to anyone who's new so they can pick their favorites. How's that for some Southern Hospitality? The young lady at the front counter was as pleasant as could possibly be on top of that.

We loved it so much we encouraged everyone else to go there so they did the next night. I cannot speak highly enough of the sweet potato crunch. Lets just say in the south we like our brown sugar and pecans and we know that to do with them and we're not afraid to use them. When Greg tasted it he said, "I want this in my mouth all the time." That sentiment was shared by everyone.

I also heartily recommend the Indian Stew and the hashbrown casserole.We all loved it there. So, should you find yourself in the area, don't miss Big Moose's BBQ. It's well worth the short drive from Cave City to Glasgow. When you leave be sure and ring the bell - that lets them know you liked the food.

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