Friday, August 14, 2015

Jewel Cave National Monument

From Medora we moved to the Black Hills in South Dakota. We visited Jewel Cave National Monument. The monument contains Jewel Cave which is currently the third longest cave in the world based on mapped passageways (currently at about 175 miles). The cave is still being explored and, based on measured air volume that is breathed through the natural opening, it is estimated that only 3 percent of the cave is currently mapped. Based on that estimate there are thousands of miles of passageways yet to be discovered.

We've toured caves with a lot more formations and more colorful formations than this one but we still enjoyed this tour. The highlight was the "cave bacon". A ribbon formation that looks exactly like a huge piece of bacon. We've seen cave bacon in other caves but never even close to the size of this one.

Bottle brush stalactite

Cave Bacon

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