Wind Cave N.P. & Mammoth Site
Oct 1, 2008
|Today we drove out of the Black Hills and south to Wind Cave National Park. This is a great park where we took a ranger-led tour of one of the longest caves in the world! 129 miles long and counting... The kids were excited as we entered the cave and started walking through a person-sized tunnel and down 300 or so stairs.
The cave features special 'boxwork' formations in the limestone, so we learned all about that and also the 'popcorn' that develops in the cave rather than stalactites or stalagmites (too dry for either to form). John mentioned that he now knows a different meaning for both the word 'popcorn' and 'cardboard box' - which is what the boxwork formation looks like.
After getting yet another junior ranger pin (we're really starting to collect these things - the programs are great) we had lunch and then drove further south to the town of Hotsprings, SD.
In Hotsprings, in the 1960's, a mammoth site was discovered by a housing developer. They have since built a structure over this site and visitors can go in and watch paleontologists uncover the semi-fossilized remains of two different types of mammoths as well as other creatures. The mammoths got trapped in a hot spring with steep sides over 26,000 years ago.. Poor buggers.
It was great to be able to take a tour and view the bones and tusks partially uncovered on site.
On to Nebraska! Yippee! (or should I say Yee Haw?)
We are at Wind Cave! Wind cave is a cool cave that you can take a tour with a guide. I saw popcorn (not edible) and boxwork formations.
P.S. You will see what I am talking about if you go on the tour.
P.P.S. We also saw Mammoths in Hot Springs. There is a tour there, too! You can see mammoth bones there.
Today was awesome. We got a new Jr. Ranger badge and saw some wooly mammoths. We went to Wind Cave National Park. It was a really cool cave. It is called Wind Cave because when the air pressure outside is more than in the cave, it sucks air into the cave to even out the air pressure. We took a tour and got a Jr. Ranger badge. Then we went to a place called Mammoth hot springs where there is a lot of fossils, mostly mammoth fossils. We took another tour and had a lot of fun.