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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Aloha Everyone,

The Wind Cave is believed to be over 309 million years old. This makes it one of the oldest known caves in the world. Below is a picture of our guide, Ranger Brie, who is showing the only natural entrance to the cave. She is holding a red streamer to illustrate the strength of the wind which shifts direction based on the outside temperature.

The cave is famous for a rare formation made of thin calcite fin, known as boxwork. We were informed that currently 95% of the world's boxworks are found within Wind Cave.

So far only about 10% of the Wind Cave have been mapped and explored.

Wind Cave is a dry cave with no stalagmites or stalactites.

The Wind Cave guided tour required walking down approximately 300 concrete steps with hand rails. For most visitors, it was necessary to duck and negotiate your ways through some of the narrow passages. Sometime it's definitely advantageous to be petite. Wind Cave is managed by National Park Service under the US Dept of Interior. The staff, including Maribeth, were well informed, helpful and hospitable.

For our lunch, we made a side trip back to Dale's Family Restaurant in the little town of Hot Spring.  Today's lunch special was salad, soup as starters followed by the main course of meat loaf, scalloped potatoes and green beans.  A slice of chocolate cake was included in the price of $6.75 per person. We love the food and the people there.

It was time for Honu to get a bath.

J.J. is getting a real detailed with his work.

Today, we had a lots of wild life sightings including a wild turkey that hopped in front of our RV, several White Tail deer and numerous prairie dogs that kept on popping their bodies by standing on hind legs. Sorry, no photos as these all happened while I was behind the wheels. I drove for about 60 minutes on the winding roads from Custer State Park to Wind Cave National Park. J.J. was focused on the road and me on my driving thus no photos were taken.

We had to stop long enough for tatanka to cross the road.

Wild flowering bushes along the highway.

Aloha -- Cathi