Getting Lost At Sea in Tennessee

Lost Sea Entrance 
Around 1989 I had just gotten my drivers license. I either didn't have a car yet or my 1972 VW Bug
was at the "Bug Doctor" for the 500 Millionth time but I was driving Mom's LTD. At the time we thought that car was fancy pants. Anyway I just remember being in Mom's car the first day that I started as a tour guide at the Lost Sea.

That's what it was called then  " The World's Largest Underground Lake - The Lost Sea" I think we were told when I was conducting tours that some cave in Australia had the new title of the worlds largest underground lake.

Either way to me, I thought I  was in the Entertainment business and I was on the world's largest stage. Well that "Fame" wore off soon when I had to start hoofin' people in and outta that cave. My fat but was tired. I was a little hefty guy with a ton of wild and crazy hair.

I made some great friends that summer and met a ton of people. I said" Welcome to the Lost Sea, this is not the natural entrance to the cave..." over 1 million times that year.
The Lost Sea Tour Entrance To The Craighead Cavern 

That bright yellow tunnel. You will never forget it. They say that the yellow helps your eyes adjust as you enter and leave the cave.

It always reminded me of a School Bus that was turned inside out. YES. A School Bus, I hated School that much.

That summer I also was selected to work on the "Wild Tour" Team. Those people taking Wild Tours enter in the natural entrance of the cave. Those participating in Wild Tours spent the night in the cave after their tour. Oh the fun you can have on those tours. Sliding down these mud walls and squeezing through these tight quarters. WOW. Anyway. I just about took you on a Wild Tour. Maybe Lisa will let me come back to the Lost Sea Adventure and write about the Wild Tours. It's been awhile since I was on one.

If I could keep the topic of the Wild Tours open for just a minute, I wanna say that taking a wWild Tour will give you a better appreciation for what the World War soldiers and  the little boy that discovered the lake went through.

You can re-discover the Lost Sea and not even have to wear a head lamp, carry a lantern, get mud to your eye balls - because they have nice beautifully lit trails and the trails are very well manicured. Another great thing that the Lost Sea provides is a GUIDE!

The folks that left these carbon tested dates and markings didn't have a guide. Someone to show them the way. No one to even warn them about the " LOW ROCKS"!  When I was a guide we would make everyone yell - LOW ROCK. I would say, " When I say low rock you say low rock, LOW ROCK". Now they just say - you might wanna watch your head, we have some low hanging rocks. I dare you to take the tour and every time you pass a LOW ROCK - Yell it!

Other than the lake and the complete darkness on the tour my favorite formation in the cave is the "Cascades" and it's the first formation on the tour. It's so pretty. I want this formation with a water feature if I ever move back into a house, instead of the RV.
When you are walking through the cave after leaving the "Cascades" you walk down a hill and you start to see how massive the cave is - the large rooms with years and year of formations. Earthy colors.
Evidence that the visitors of the Lost Sea are not the first to fist the caverns. Evidence that something so close to where I am from is rightfully so, a National Landmark.  If the United States Of America and the National Park Services can set aside this natural attraction and call it special - we should all - call it special. Cause it is.

Well after experiencing complete darkness and looking down the Devil's Hole you do eventually make it to the very large lake and the boats on LAKE LOST SEA. Yes they stock the lake with Rainbow Trout and they feed the trout when you take the boat ride so you are sure to see the fish while there. My two year old Mason ( great Nephew) loved the lake. He gave the tour on the water - "PHISH!" PHISH! PHEED THEM" "Catch PHISH". PWEWEEZ".

Plenty To Do On Campus 

Be Sure to rub the "Bear Claw" on your way out of the cave and take advantages of the rest areas for the hike back to the big yellow tunnel.

General Store

So you don't really get "lost at sea" in Tennessee but you sure could get lost in all the information and beauty in the Great Smoky Mountain Attraction in East Tennessee called the Lost Sea Adventure.

Plan on spending some time on campus at the General Store, Deli, Glass Blowers Studio and the Nature trail.
 More past pictures...
Nature Trail Entrance

Mason's Easter Pictures At Lost Sea

Headed To The Blacksmith Shop
The Gem Mine

National Landmark Marker

General Store

Dining Area 
So no matter where you are from or where you are going if you are near the Lost Sea Adventure make plans to spend the morning or the afternoon and get back to nature, explore the history of this landmark. Something like this, you don't want it to go away. (Not that there is a threat) Something like this needs to be around for Mason to see and remember.


Popular Posts