Friday, July 17, 2009

July 16

We got up early and drove scenic Iron Mountain Road from our camp to Mount Rushmore. We left the trailer at camp because there were more tunnels, some of which were designed to show views of Mount Rushmore as you drove through them. The road was very windy and had three “pigtail” loops. We went back to camp, hooked up and drove to the Elk Mountain campground at Wind Cave National Park. On the way we saw more antelope, buffalo and prairie dogs. After setting up the trailer we went on a tour of the cave. It has some unique “box” formations caused by gypsum flowing through cracks in the limestone, hardening into calcite, and then being exposed when carbonic acid ate away the surrounding limestone. These formations are very fragile -- about as strong as potato chips.

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