Since I was doing the Wild Cave Tour
Wind Cave National
Park in the afternoon, I ran over to Jewel Cave
National Monument on the morning of Monday, 6 June 2005, and
squeezed in the Scenic
Tour. Basically, you go down
in an elevator to a point in the cave and make a loop.
If Wind Cave is known for boxwork, Jewel Cave got its name from the dogspar and other crystalline formations found within. The dogspar often has a layer of manganese sitting on it. It also features the more typical stalagtites and stalagmites and ribbons and flowstone. (Click here for more on Jewel Cave geology.)
Both Wind Cave and Jewel Cave are "maze" caves. There were made me think of the old text-base "Adventure" game we used to play on Unix systems: "You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike." But the passages in Wind Cave were, at least the tiny fraction I saw, more wide than they were deep. In Jewel Cave, the rooms and passages were bigger, with narrower, taller, aspects.