While visiting relatives in Kentucky as a 13-year-old youngster, Bill Balfour—plus his dad and his uncle—drove over to Mammoth Cave. Balfour was particularly fascinated by the Rotunda and begged the adults for another commercial tour. But, having had enough fun for one day, Bill’s father allowed his boy to go on another guided trip that same afternoon, while dad waited outside. Bill was entranced and soon bought each book about caves that he could find. He also lobbied for stops at any show caves that the family passed during their assorted travels.