Sunday, September 6, 2015

Jewel Cave

Whenever we find ourselves in the neighborhood of a cave that is lit and has tours, we try to go there. Saturday we went to Jewel Cave National Monument which is close to Custer State Park.

We joined about thirty-five other people on the hour and twenty minute, ranger led tour. Like most ranger talks, hers was quite good and gave us a better understanding of what we were seeing. We try to read everything in the Visitor Centers, but a talk is always an added pleasure.

Taking pictures in a cave is a challenge to say the least. Especially when you are part of a tight group moving along a narrow walkways and stairs. The ranger asked us to keep moving and not stop for very long to snap pictures. I ended up with a lot of low-light images containing strange colors that had not been there to my eye. Below are a few that are pretty close to what we actually saw. All are of different formations, mostly made up of calcite. 

The last one is of a particularly interesting formation that looks just like a really huge strip of bacon. The picture we took was not in focus, so I borrowed this one from the web.

Image from the web by
There is another cave to the south of us, Wind Cave, that we want to visit before we move on. 

There is so much to see and do here in the Black Hills. The weather has been nice, and Blue Bell campground is very pretty even though we can't get satellite TV due to the trees.

The only problem is there is no dump station in or near the campground. Since we are here for nine nights, we are about to drive thirteen miles of winding, narrow, park road to a campground with a dump station in another part of the park. We have stayed in several parks where there is no sewer hookup at our site, but there has always been one near by. We don't mind moving once a week to dump, but a 26 mile round trip is excessive!

I think we could have made it for our full stay if we used the park showers and paper plates, but Craig would rather not live like that and doesn't mind the drive. It is easier than what we drove once a week when we lived in the Alfa on our mountain property. I guess I've just gotten spoiled with all the full-hookup parks we have been at. But I really do like it here a lot better than a gravel parking lot like some of the commercial places we have stayed.  

[From Craig]  I just saw a new contributor handle on the Alfaseeya Yahoo group: "lovestheturns".  I may send him/her/them an email saying that there's a lot for them to love at Custer State Park, SD!


  1. Nice site! You look so relaxed just hanging out by your rig. (I did look to see if you were wearing some wild-color socks ;-)

  2. I'm with Craig on campground showers. It's a pretty site you're on.

  3. it is a pain to have to move, and especially that far!


Leave a comment, or send an email.