01 June 2013

Ziplining in the Mega Cavern

2 Jun 2013--On Friday, 31 May, we drove into Louisville to go to the Mega Cavern, to go ziplining in an underground cave.  Kentucky has the largest cave system in the country, and this one is directly under the city.  At first we assumed we must have taken a wrong turn because we were driving through this neighborhood and couldn't imagine there was a cave at the end of the road.

From the 1930s to the 1970s this was a limestone mine, and then it was turned into an underground business; look at the list below.  The city actually counts the cavern as a "building", with an address and all.  I don't know if the "worm recycling" sign was true, but it was in the ladies room, so (?).

We copied this video from the website of the company that runs them.  It is really dark inside so they have lighted the area better than when we were in there so you can see some of what we saw better than my pictures.  This place only opened in June 2011, and is the only underground zipline operation in the world.  It was once the largest fallout shelter in Kentucky, and was readied for use during the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Of course they have a gift shop, so we checked it out while waiting for our group's turn to suit up.  "Flavored Crickettes" for sale, with the nutrition label, to boot!

Here we have suited up, with lights on helmets that we actually needed.  In the 2nd row of pics is Cathy ready to take a practice run and then in the Jeep & trailer that they use to truck you further into the cave.  In the 3rd row, if you blow it up you can see a sign over Cathy's left shoulder saying that we are located directly below K-Mart up on street level.

Each zipline has a name, and this one is appropriately named (haha).  Check out what you are gonna fly into!

That 2nd pic above was actually a faux pas with the camera (haha)...not actually on fire down there, but more descriptive of what you can see as you prepare for the 1st line are the 1st 2 pics below.  That's me taking off on the 1st line followed by Cathy on the 2nd.  You can only get "up close" pics because the cavern swallows any attempt at a flash lighting things up.  The cavern is a constant 58 degrees, so when you are moving on the lines it gets quite cool.

Walking from line-to-line, sometimes over rope ladders.  In the 2nd and 3rd pics, in the distance you can see some small lights...those are people already on the other side and that is all you can see of them.

Even when you aren't on the ropes or ladders, you are always attached with a safety line overhead because the platforms and lines have drop-offs anywhere from 30 to 90 feet.  And the longest zipline is 900 feet end-to-end...that was the best one!  In the 3rd pic you can see me behind the man...remember him because I will tell you something about him later.

In this 1st picture Cathy is already on her way down the line...I could hear her but not see her.  In the 2nd pic I just got lucky that I snapped the pic at the right time to catch her with the flash as she came in for the landing.

Walking back to the Jeep.

Outside the bathrooms!  haha  This was our 2nd time ziplining, and we enjoyed it, but truth be told, zipping outside was better....you can obviously see a whole lot more, so that makes it more fun.  This would be best if you were with a bunch of people who were scared (haha)...we were with 4 older people, one of whom (the man I told you to remember) I got stuck with for about 3 lines worth who smelled of horse crap...I am not kidding, or exaggerating...I assume he worked or owned a horse farm here, because the stench seemed to come from his pores!

 Seeing as we still had time for a little more sightseeing, we headed over to the Cathedral of the Assumption, which is the 3rd oldest Catholic Church in continuous use in the country, and was founded by the 1st Catholic priest ordained in the US.  Pretty, but not the prettiest cathedral we have seen.  I thought the seats were interesting.  I don't think I have ever been in a Catholic Church that had individual seating.  But notice they didn't forget the kneelers...they are placed for easy access under the seat in front of you.  haha

So that was Friday.  As we were driving through downtown we had a heads-up that our touring on Saturday would be enjoyable...it's a really cool city.  So more on that to follow in the next blog.


  1. horse crap - really? I am surprised you didn't finagle with someone to change places. That zip line sure looks cool but i don't know if I could do it in a cave??? Under the ground??? Not sure I could even walk underground?
    I love the church. I never heard of a church with individual seats. Definetly more comfortable.

  2. Too funny about the old guy!!!

    I know I would never be able to do this, especially underground!

  3. I am surprised that both Ellen and Marie think they would be afraid of going underground...it really is no big deal. I think if you were there, or at the caverns where we see the stalagmites and stalagtites, you wouldn't think twice about touring it.