Another state to add to our map! We didn’t see much of South Dakota, but what we did see was amazing. Not too long after crossing over from Wyoming, we were at Jewel Cave National Monument. We opted for the Scenic Tour of the caves, which left us with an hour wait, so the kids had time to do the Junior Ranger Program.
The caves were amazing, and cold, they are a consistent 49 degrees year round. Jewel Cave is covered with calcite crystals, which make it shine like jewels. There are no bats inside the cave. The only living thing found inside the cave is a dead-skin-cell eating organism that live inside the water pools along the walking path.
Under the stairs, there are black tarps which capture all of the skin, hair and lint that fall off of visitors over the course of the year. Every year when they clean the tarps, they end up with 100 pounds of yummy goodness. Our tour guide jokingly informed us that you can purchase it by the pound in the gift shop. Ew.
Of all the glorious tidbits of information I could have brought away from the caves, I chose that. Something is seriously wrong with me…