Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 54 pages of information about Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844.

Pensico Avenue averages about fifty feet in width, with a height of about thirty feet; and is said to be two miles long.  It unites in an eminent degree the truly beautiful with the sublime, and is highly interesting throughout its entire extent.  For a quarter of a mile from the entrance, the roof is beautifully arched, about twelve feet high and sixty wide, and formerly was encrusted with rosettes and other formations, nearly all of which have been taken away or demolished, leaving this section of the Cave quite denuded.  The walking here is excellent; a dozen persons might run abreast for a quarter of a mile to Bunyan’s Way, a branch of the avenue, leading on to the river.  At this point the avenue changes its features of beauty and regularity, for those of wild grandeur and sublimity, which it preserves to the end.  The way, no longer smooth and level, is frequently interrupted and turned aside by huge rocks, which lie tumbled around, in all imaginable disorder.  The roof now becomes very lofty and imposingly magnificent; its long, pointed or lancet arches, forcibly reminding you of the rich and gorgeous ceilings of the old Gothic Cathedrals, at the same time solemnly impressing you with the conviction that this is a “building not made with hands.”  No one, not dead to all the more refined sensibilities of our nature, but must exclaim, in beholding the sublime scenes which here present themselves, this is not the work of man!  No one can be here without being reminded of the all pervading presence of the great “Father of all.”

    “What, but God, pervades, adjusts and agitates the whole!”

Not far from the point at which the avenue assumes the rugged features, which now characterize it, we separated from our guide, he continuing his straight-forward course, and we descending gradually a few feet and entering a tunnel of fifteen feet wide on our left, the ceiling twelve or fourteen feet high, perfectly arched and beautifully covered with white incrustations, very soon reached the Great Crossings.  Here the guide jumped down some six or eight feet from the avenue which we had left, into the tunnel where we were standing, and crossing it, climbed up into the avenue, which he pursued for a short distance or until it united with the tunnel, where he again joined us.  In separating from, then crossing, and again uniting with the avenue, it describes with it something like the figure 8.  The name, Great Crossings, is not unapt.  It was however, not given, as our intelligent guide veritably assured us, in honor of the Great Crossings where the man lives who killed Tecumseh, but because two great caves cross here; and moreover said he, “the valiant Colonel ought to change the name of his place, as no two places in a State should bear the same name, and this being the great place ought to have the preference.”

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Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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