Black Hills National Forest and Wind Cave National Park

Activity Date: 
09/27/2003 - 09/29/2003

We drove east across Wyoming to Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. The terrain was very different, more heavy forest with undergrowth.  We were going to stay on the western side of the Black Hills, but there were a lot of folks there and the campgrounds were crowded, so we continued on southeast into the forest.

We finally stopped at Pactola campground.  It was a very large campground around a lake with hardly anyone camping there. Here is a shot of our campsite.


No surprise, the dogs had fun playing in the lake.

Jessie with stick

We spent a day visiting Wind Cave National Park. The cave tour was fun.  The cave is dark, but had minimal lighting installed so you didn't need to bring a flashlight. This cave is know for its extensive "box work" formations. Below is a shot of the cave ceiling with box work. The lattice work is made up of many extremely thin wafer-like fans coming down from the ceiling.

Box work formation

This is a close up of the box lattice.

Box lattice close up

Some parts of the cave had crystal formations they called "popcorn". Below is part of the cave that had a lot of the crystal formations on the ceiling.

Popcorn formation

The crystals were pretty as they reflected the lights. Below is a close up of the popcorn. The camera's flash created the light sparkle reflections.

Popcorn close up

Wind Cave National Park also protects the lands above it. Driving around, we saw a herd of pronghorn antelope.

Something spooked the pronghorn herd and they took off at a run for the other end of the meadow.

Running pronghorn antelope

There is also the very cute prairie dog. They live in short grass, open prairie.  When you find a prairie dog town, it's obvious because there are lots of burrows and with little prairie dogs scattered around them.  Here are a few cute shots of the portly little fellows!

Attentive prairie dog Pair of prairie dogsPrairie dog eating Watchful prairie dog

And of course, we have our own wildlife back at the RV, where Punkin and Oreo are curled up for a nap.

Oreo and Punkin napping