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Going down – Jewel Cave, South Dakota

June 11, 2009

After I rode the Needles Highway, we headed to Custer and then onto Jewel Cave.   Jewel Cave is one of the longest caves in the US.   Everyday new parts are found.  Our kids were so excited to go.   I was excited too as it has been something like 30 years since I’ve been in a real cave, the Carlsbad Caverns.

The initial decent into Jewel Cave

The initial decent into Jewel Cave

We did the guided tour.   Our kids followed the National Park Ranger very closely.   I’m not really claustrophobic, but the thought of spelunking makes me very, very uncomfortable.   Jewel Cave was very, very comfortable.   Our group had about 20 people in it and there was lots of starting, stopping and waiting to regroup.  During that waiting time, I found my mind drifting and thinking about some really random and stupid stuff.

Once I found myself staring at this.

The Scream!

The Scream!

Is this my inner feelings about spelunking, next years Halloween pumpkin carving pattern, or is the ancient inspiration for Edward Munch “The Scream”?

Then, I found myself hungry and wanting a bike ride.  It’s called the bacon formation.   I love bacon and then I starting thinking about the Lincoln, Nebraska bacon rides.

The bacon formation in Jewel Cave, South Dakota.

The bacon formation in Jewel Cave, South Dakota.

The tour brings you down to roughly 400 feet below the surface at its deepest point.  It is about an hour long and it really was a fun thing to do.  When we asked our kids what were their favorite things we did on our trip, Jewel Cave is #1 or #2 depending on which kid you ask.   It was definitely worth the stop.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2009 6:14 am

    I’ve been to Carlsbad too. Awesome stuff. I guess they have discovered a bunch more cave down there as well.

    I have a funny anecdote about Jewel Cave coming up in my Touring Tuesdays posts. You’ll have to keep an eye out for that!

  2. June 11, 2009 6:28 pm

    LOL! Bacon, I’m always amazed at the sights, smells, images that will inspire me to want to ride.

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