WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK Hot Springs, South Dakota

Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: June 17, 2022

Christened a national park by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1903, the cave was discovered in 1881 when two cowboys were riding on a calm day and heard wind blowing.  They discovered a hole in the ground and looked in. The wind blew his hat off. Wind Cave is the 7th largest cave system in the world and third largest in the USA with over 140 miles of passages. Driving through the park roadways among the ponderosa pine trees, prairie grass and wildflowers we saw bison, pronghorn, elk, and prairie dogs. We took the one-hour Garden of Eden Tour. An elevator took us down 119 feet where the cave stayed a constant chilly 54 degrees. The cave is known for its calcite formations known as boxwork, with 95% of the world’s boxwork found at Wind Cave. They did not use colored lights to enhance the cave popcorn and flowstone formations, but it was still a very educational tour. Charcoal burned on one rock was the names of a group exploring the cave in 1882.

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