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                                               Wind Cave
The headquarters for Wind Cave. This is a wonderful park, and contains more than just the cave. There is a campground, animal viewing areas, including an immense prairie dog town, and numerous hiking trails winding through the surrounding hills.
The main entrance. A cardboard caver descends into the museum below.
As with most national parks, there are displays, and a museum area. Actually, these are pretty good introductions to the place, and not a bad way to spend an hour or so, before going into the cave itself.
the geologic portion of the museum, highlights some of the formations in the caver, and gives the prospective caver an idea of what to look for .
Some of the original documents, and photos of the early explorations of the cave.
The historical portion of the museum. The old fashioned clothes on the mannequin are typical of what a woman caver might wear, during the discovery and early exploration of the cave.
This is the path to the cave entrance, which sits a hundred or so feet off of the back of the headquarters building.
This shelter is where tour groups meet and assemble before being taken down into the caves.
A look back at the building, from the tour assembly area.
This is the only known natural opening to this cave. Our ranger guide shows us how the cave breaths.
A close up of the natural entrance.
This most unnatural entrance is how the visitor enters the cave. It is sealed to prevent the cave from drying out.
The way down. Wind Cave is a cave of rather narrow passages, quite the opposite of the large chambers of Carlsbad, or the enormous tunnels of Mammoth.
A look back up, where just a glimmer of daylight may be seen.
Proceeding down, we have quite a way to go. These caves sit fairly deep within the Black Hills.

One of my fellow visitors stops to take a photograph.
Left and Below:
Down we go, finally reaching the bottom.
Crawling through crack and crevice, we wind our way through the cave.
Though not particularly narrow (there are far narrower caves here, on the wild cave tour), this is strictly single file.
My first really good view of some of the cave's famous boxwork. This particular set looking a bit more like a stone spider web, than a set of boxes.
And down we go, another set of stairs. The cave is amazingly dry, considering how far down we have come.
More travels through underground canyons.
The tunnels continue to change shape and size.
More boxwork, though now of a different color and composition.
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