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Whirlwind Week: Part 1 Wind Cave Nat. Park

July 2022


At the beginning of our whirlwind week, we decided to go explore the caves at Wind Cave National Park. We drove the bus closer to Hot Springs, SD and parked the bus at a truck stop. The kids and mom were lucky to be able to escape the heat of the day by going underground. Dad, on the other hand, had to stay in the scorching hot bus working.



When we arrived at the park, we went to the building where our tour would start. Shortly after we reached the destination, our guide started telling us about the natural entrance to the caves, and how it is a sacred place for the indigenous people. They still have flags displayed (not pictured) and often have religious gatherings at the natural opening of the cave. He told us the people believed that their ancestors emerged from the caves and lived on the land.



We then went through the man made airlock doors to enter the cave. The ranger showed us how the cave works as a natural barometer. If you put a ribbon in front of the airlock, it can be sucked in, or blown out. This can also show if there is going to be a storm. We got to see lots of interesting crystals and rock formations, like boxwork. It is formed when there are cracks in the rock and other minerals come and fill it in, and when the original rock erodes away, the boxwork is left. (pictured below)



As we kept going, our guide told us about the family that first found the caves. He explained that their son would explore the caves in almost complete darkness, taking extensive notes. They eventually led tours through the cave. The tour was lighted by a candle in a bucket, and required customers to crawl through tight spaces. Although on our tour, we experienced the opposite of small and cramped. We were able to see a huge cavern that had many tunnels that led to other parts of the cave system. Some current tours still require you to fit through a small opening in the caves, so to go on those tours you have to crawl through a concrete box frist to see if you will fit.



We were lucky that our tour was mostly steps down, and after our tour was over we rode an elevator up to the surface. Once we dusted our feet clean, we went to the visitor center to get our Junior Ranger Booklets. When we completed the required activities, we looked for a Ranger so we could become official Junior Rangers. After we said our pledge and received our badges, we hopped in the Jeep and drove back to the bus. On such a hot day, we were happy to learn the history and explore this cool cave.



Stay Tuned For the Next Part of A Whirlwind Week!


Written by: B.O.B.; Edited by: Mom; Fun Fact by: Pickles


*Blog posts are not reflective of our current location,

they have been written and posted with a delay.*


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Fun Fact


An ostrich's eyes are almost as big as tennis balls.

-Pickles

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