Wind Cave National Park (5 June 2005)

Wind Cave National Park is one of the smaller parks in the US National Park System. On the surface, the ecosystem is prarie meets pine forest, complete with herds of bison (buffalo), but underneath is one of the longer caves in the world.

Wind Cave is a fairly dry cave, and it has few dramatic features like stalagtites, stalagmites, flows, etc. It makes up for that with its own distinctive feature called boxwork. Much of the walls and ceilings are covered with this geometric arrangement of calcite, which resembles the filling between layers of corrugated cardboard. The cave also features calcite formations called popcorn and frostwork.

The photos in the photo album below are primarily from the Natural Entrance Tour. The following day, I did the Wild Cave Tour, where you crawl through undeveloped portions of the cave for about four hours. They don't allow cameras on that one, so you'll just have to take my word that it was an incredible experience.

There are a few photos of bison in the collection below, and more in the set of pictures from Tuesday, 7 June 2005.