I was headed south after Crazy Horse, so I went to Custer and did laundry and had lunch at the Purple Pie shop. yummy! Jewel Cave is 14 miles east of there so I decided to make a big loop back to Beulah and see this cave, since I'm here.
This cave is complicated like Wind Cave and is currently the 2nd largest cave in the world. Again, they estimate they've only found about 5-10% of the cave and they are continuing to discover paths. To get from the main cave where we go to the "new" area, one has to go into a long section that is only 24" wide and 8.5" high! The ranger explained that one has to place his head in a certain location, turn the shoulders just so, and inch along using toes and hands to get through it! Ohmygod! But he explains that other people jump out of perfectly good airplanes to get airborne and that shut me up!
The jewels in this cave are calcite crystals that sparkle when illuminated. There are places where typical stalactites and stalagmites are found. When they join, it's called a column, but we found one so skinny that it is called a soda straw. We also saw cave bacon and it really looks like a very big slice of bacon!
The ride home up the eastern part of Wyoming was beautiful - another great day.