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Happy Birthday Wind Cave NP


Wicavisitorcenter_copy    Wind Cave National Park, a cave maze in South Dakota's Black Hills, was created 104 years ago today. You can stay above ground and hike through the grasslands and Ponderosa pine forests, or head underground into the Garden of Eden or Monte Cristo's Palace or the Chert Room.


I went to Wind Cave once. I was so disappointed. I had driven for hours through the Black Hills just to have a chance to see it. I never enjoy driving through the Black Hills--and wish I could say that was for political reasons. When I finally got there, it was interesting above ground with the bison. However, the elevators to the caves were not operational. It was such a big bummer. While one day I would like to go back, I have not had a chance (that was over 8 years ago). I think it will always worry me that it won't be accessible, and I hate being someone who has to make a phone call in mid stream on a trip (actually, I just hate the telephone--but that's my problem not Wind Cave's). I'm sure Wind Cave is remarkable; I just wish I had gotten to see it. Some day... Jim

Too bad you missed it. My wife and I visited this past summer, and we loved it. In our cave tour, the first of the day, the ranger actually turned off the lights in the cave to give us an idea of how dark complete blackness can be. He also lit up the cave with the old fashioned paint can & candle device...amazing how much light those can give off. We didn't have time to hit the backcountry while we were there, but a quick hike up to the Rankin Ridge Fire Tower was well worth it, as the ranger at the top not only gave us a short tutorial of using the triangulation method of pinpointing smoke in the hills, but also showed how he uses his radio-transmitter to track elk in the park.

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