Our touring around today first took us to:
On the drive through Wind Cave National Park we again saw plenty of bison going about their business of munching grass, sleeping or rolling.
We decided to take a tour of Wind Cave. This cave was discovered in the late 1800's by two cowboys when one noticed a rather small hole in the ground and bent over to explore. When he did the wind coming from the cave blew his hat off his head.
The tour we selected was for just an hour and included only about 150 stairs (not all at the one time, thanks for that).
This cave has about 128 miles of explored passages. Explorers work there almost around the clock. It is expected there are over 400 miles of open passage yet to be explored.
As the outside temperature was hovering around 92, the cave temperature of 53 was most welcome.
We continued of Route 385 N passing Crazy Horse Memorial. We plan to visit there when we return from our visit back east. From the road it did not look any different than it did when we saw it in 2001.
We drove into the town of Custer for some lunch, stopped in Hill City to purchase a gift for our grandson and then entered Custer State Park from a different entry that we had not driven before.
This took us on the Needles Highway. WHAT A DRIVE. Hairpin curves, sharp turns, narrow roads and three tunnels.
The following was the most difficult tunnel. It is 8'4" across. Our Ford dually is 8', giving us just 4 inches to maneuver. Our side mirrors are power and Len pulled them in as far as they are able to go without actually folding them in. It might have been a good idea to fold them it as it would be two less areas where he had to keep checking out.
As we entered the tunnel:
In the tunnel:
We saw several tour buses on this route. We were told they often scrape their sides and tops.
Not sure where we were in tighter quarters, the cave or the tunnels.
I am thinking there might be two reasons why it's called Needles. Driving this road is like threading a needle.
And the large tall spirals that are along the route.
Tomorrow we head out for 13 days going back to MD and NJ to visit family. Got get packed and ready to be at the airport by 9:30. It's only 20 miles from here or so.
WARNING.. WARNING... WARNING... the next several blogs will be full of pictures of our grand kids!