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I’m kind of amazed every morning when I come out of my bedroom in the cabin and see this view.
There were times earlier in the day when the clouds would roll in and you couldn’t see the mountains at all and it just felt like you were hanging out inside a house in the clouds. Someone is going to have to tear me away from this place.
We ended up getting a lazy start, but eventually made our way over to the Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, TN.
The outside is really unassuming, and when you walk inside the gift shop area, it’s no different. This was where we were going to start an adventure down into a cavern? My expectations were waning. A tour was starting soon so we got our tickets, had one last bathroom break, and headed down a ramp to the basement area where the tour starts.
There we got a little history of the cavern, which was super interesting. It was discovered by two boys, 6 and 8 years old, in the 1930’s. They spent their childhood exploring part of the cave, and after they returned from WWII they began purchasing the land around the cave. Once they owned any land that had an entrance to the cavern on it, they could claim the cave as theirs. How cool that they were able to own the place they discovered and explored as children. And I’m still amazed that two kids not much older than Wyatt were down in a cave spelunking on their own!
I hope he sticks with guided tours so I can rest easier at night.
Once our tour guide was done with his intro and everyone had gathered in the basement area, we headed down the stairs into the cavern. Back when the boys originally discovered the cavern, they used rope to climb down inside. Their mothers would have been horrified.
All my reservations about whether this was going to be worth it disappeared when we began to descend the staircase. This place was definitely cool. I wish my pictures could do the cavern justice, but it’s really a “you have to see it for yourself” type of thing to really understand how cool it is down there. Here are a few of my favorites though.
Wyatt’s favorite part of the tour was the wishing well. It’s not a natural cave formation, but it’s still pretty cool. They built it to dam off water and keep it from eroding the walking path. Visitors are invited to toss in some change and make a wish. Last year they were able to donate over $5,000 to the Children’s hospital in Knoxville just from wishing well money. So if you visit the caverns, make sure to throw a few quarters in.
And I would like you to know, I think I officially have a firm grasp on the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite now. Even mom learned something in homeschool today.
P.S. I’d love for you to checkout my homeschool kindergarten board on Pinterest, as well as our Amazon Homeschool Favorites where I have curated a list of things we genuinely use and love in our homeschool life.
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