Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844.
and so bewildering from the number of its branches, that the visiter, doubtful of his footing, and uncertain as to his course, is soon made sensible of the prudence of the regulation, which enjoins him, “not to leave the guide.”  “The Covered Pit is in a little branch to the left; this pit is twelve or fifteen feet in diameter, covered with a thin rock, around which a narrow crevice extends, leaving only a small support on one side.  There is a large rock resting on the centre of the cover.  The sound of a waterfall may be heard from the pit but cannot be seen.”  The Side-Saddle Pit is about twenty feet long and eight feet wide, with a margin about three feet high, and extending lengthwise ten feet, against which one may safely lean, and view the interior of the pit and dome.  After a short walk from this place, we came to a ladder on our right, which conducted us down about fifteen feet into a narrow pass, not more than five feet wide; this pass is the Labyrinth, one end of which leads to the Bottomless Pit, entering it about fifty feet down, and the other after various windings, now up, now down, over a bridge, and up and down ladders, conducts you to one of the chief glories of the Cave,—­Gorin’s Dome; which, strange to tell, was not discovered until a few years ago.  Immediately behind the ladder, there is a narrow opening in the rock, extending up very nearly to the cave above, which leads about twenty feet back to Louisa’s Dome, a pretty little place of not more than twelve feet in diameter, but of twice that height.  This dome is directly under the centre of the cave we had just been traversing, and when lighted up, persons within it can be plainly seen from above, through a crevice in the rock.  Arrived at Gorin’s Dome, we were forcibly struck by the seeming appearance of design, in the arrangement of the several parts, for the special accommodation of visiters—­even with reference to their number.  The Labyrinth, which we followed up, brought us at its termination, to a window or hole, about four feet square, three feet above the floor, opening into the interior of the dome, about midway between the bottom and top; the wall of rock being at this spot, not more than eighteen inches thick; and continuing around, and on the outside of the dome, along a gallery of a few feet in width, for twenty or more paces, we arrived at another opening of much larger size, eligibly disposed, and commanding, like the first, a view of very nearly the whole interior space.  Whilst we are arranging ourselves, the guide steals away, passes down, down, one knows not how, and is presently seen by the dim light of his lamp, fifty feet below, standing near the wall on the inside of the dome.  The dome is of solid rock, with sides apparently fluted and polished, and perhaps two hundred feet high.  Immediately in front and about thirty feet from the window, a huge rock seems suspended from above and arranged in folds like a curtain.  Here we are then, the guide fifty feet below us. 
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Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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