Park News 3

2 student comments on visit to MCNP for Ticket To Ride section.  Students from Morgan Elementary, Paducah, KY

Darren W

In October 2013, the third grade class at Morgan Elementary went to Mammoth Cave.  We had a great time at the cave.  It was a long day, but worth every minute of it.

Once upon a time, I was sleeping in my bed.  It was 5:00 a.m.  I got up out of my bed and got ready to go to Mammoth Cave with my friends from school.  My Move me to school and we rode the bus to Mammoth Cave.  It was a long trip, but then we finally got there.  We walked in the lobby and met our tour guides.  I had no idea what was about to happen.

After we met our tour guides, we went on a nature walk.  We saw a lot of things like gumball trees, nuts and other things in nature.  When we were done with our walk, we went and ate our lunch.

After we were done eating lunch, we came back to the real cave part and took our tour.  When we were in the cave, we saw writings on the walls.  Then we walked a little bit more.  Then walked up some stairs and walked out of the cave and rode the bus back home.

We had a fun trip to Mammoth Cave.  IT was a very long day, but I had a great time and learned a lot about caves.  If you have a chance to go to Mammoth Cave, you should!

Nadia M

Have you ever been in a cave?  If you haven’t, I am going to tell you about Mammoth Cave because I have been there.  It was cool.

In the beginning when I first walked into the cave I was a little scared but after I got in farther then it wasn’t so scary.  I loved it.  I also liked when everyone else got scared but I wasn’t.

After we walked a little more and stopped we learned stuff like some flood made the cave and then the guide turned out the lights and it was a little scary until she turned the light back on. My friends were on me and it was hard to get them off.  We kept walking and came to “fat man’s misery!”  I was scared I would never make it out but I did.  Then we got to “tall man’s misery” we all had to duck down because we were all too tall to walk through.  I said after we got out of the cave I will never forget this trip!

Then we sat down and we talked about how high the water level was because of a flood.  I was glad we had a break from walking.

Finally, it was the worst part of the cave…lots and lots and lots and lots of stairs.  I was wishing there was an elevator.  There like 10 flights of stairs and the guide said “We are almost out.”  I wanted to get off the stirs but I was sad because I wasn’t ready to leave the cave.  When I finally saw the circle room I knew we were back where we started.

I had a blast at Mammoth Cave.  I will never forget it!  I hope you can go to Mammoth Cave sometime.
Dave Wyrick leads Mammoth
Cave guides
(MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., March 5, 2014) 
Dave Wyrick’s life is spiced with variety.
From his hometown of Carlsbad, N.M.,
Wyrick has lived and worked from Washington
State, to Washington, D.C., from Fort Sumter,
S.C. to an historic ranch in Montana, from
bluffs over the Mississippi River in Natchez
to the great Mammoth Cave of Kentucky.
This month, Wyrick will dust off his caving
gear from his years at Carlsbad Caverns
to begin his new position as the chief of the
division of interpretation and visitor services
at Mammoth Cave National Park
“Dave Wyrick has a broad background and is
a great addition to our management team at
Mammoth Cave,” said Superintendent Sarah
Craighead.  “Our interpretive staff is one of the largest in the National Park Service
(NPS), and we offer more formal programs each year than Great Smokies,
Everglades, and Shenandoah National Parks combined.  At his previous parks, Dave
has found ways to engage the public that could be applied at Mammoth Cave.  I’m
looking forward to working with him.”
Wyrick grew up in Carlsbad, N.M., not far from Carlsbad Caverns National Park. 
His grandfather was a state forest ranger on Cloudy Mountain in Oklahoma.  “As a
kid, I loved to visit my grandfather and because of him I knew that I wanted to be a
ranger someday,” said Wyrick.  He pursued and earned a degree in park
administration at Eastern Washington University, in Cheney, Wash., in 1981. 
Following college, he found seasonal ranger employment with the U.S.D.A. Forest
Service, and at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
In 1983, Wyrick switched career-gears and moved to Maryland, where he took a
job in construction and worked his way up to the level of construction
superintendent, building homes and subdivisions.
Wyrick’s interest in parks resurfaced in 1991.  He gave up construction and became
an NPS interpretive ranger on the D.C. Mall, touring visitors through memorials,
museums, and up and down the Washington Monument.  And so his list of parks
continued:  Rock Creek Park, a 2,800-acre forest in the middle of D.C. (1994-
1995); Fort Sumter National Monument in South Carolina (1995-2000); Carlsbad
Caverns National Park, where he supervised the cave tour operation (2000-2004);
Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Mont., where Wyrick served as the chief
of education, interpretation and cultural resources (2005-2009).  In 2009, the
couple came back east to Natchez National Historic Park, Miss., where Wyrick was
the chief of interpretation and resource management until moving to Mammoth
“I’m excited to work in a cave again,” said Wyrick.  “National park areas each
present the challenge of helping the public experience and appreciate our national
treasures in such a way that the treasure is well protected and preserved.  It is the
same here at Mammoth Cave.  When visitors arrive, they may think our main
attraction is just a big hole in the ground, so it’s our job to help them see the
intricacies of underground life and its dependence on the surface world.  I haven’t
been caving since my years at Carlsbad.  My hardhat and headlamp are ready to
Wyrick and his wife, Mary Ann (nee Roth) have a grown daughter Jessica, and two
dachshunds, Lilly and Edward.  They enjoy outdoor sports and have embraced the
possibilities of each place they have been stationed, like skiing in Montana and
kayaking in South Carolina.  Here in Kentucky they plan to hike, bike and kayak.
credit:  NPS photo
caption: Dave Wyrick is the chief of interpretation at Mammoth Cave National Park, leading the guides, environmental education, fee collection, and visitor services