Wind Cave National Park
By the time we reached Wind Cave National Park, it was early evening. The drive took longer than anticipated. The good thing about Wind Cave National Park is that the campsite hardly ever fills up. Much like Jenny Lake in Grand Teton, you grab an envelope, drive around until you find a campsite you like, put you ticket on the post and payment in the envelope. The campsite at Wind Cave was probably one of my favorite campsites. The view is sweeping hills. By the time we got there, the temperature was quite comfortable. We put up our tent and then watched the sunset and enjoyed the vast sky light up in color. Remember how the drive took a bit longer than we anticipated? Well, we didn’t really get a chance to stop and pick up groceries. Actually, we made a stop before Devils Tower, but we picked up lunch food at the grocery, but didn’t for dinner. We were trying to get to Devils Tower quickly and just forgot about dinner. So… we ate tuna for dinner. The kids weren’t too happy about this. We made up for it by making a campfire and roasting marshmallows. That night the wind picked up quite a bit. I thought it was raining but it was just the sound of the rain. There’s restrooms with showers as well. The next morning, we got dressed and quickly packed up. As beautiful as the park grounds are, the main reason people visit Wind Cave is to tour the cave that is underneath. It’s best to get your tickets as early as possible. So as soon as we were dressed, and relatively packed up, we drove over to the visitor center. My husband dropped me off to buy tickets. There are three different tours you can take, Garden of Eden, Natural Entrance and Fairgrounds Tour. There’s also two special tours called Candlelight and Wild Cave tours. Our youngest was too young for the latter two, but they looked interesting. We opted for the Fairgrounds Tour. We had a couple of hours until our tour, so we took advantage of that and drove into the town of Hot Springs for some breakfast. It’s a cute little town and I would have liked a little more time to explore it. We enjoyed breakfast at a cute little coffee shop in town. Hubby, a coffee snob, gave the coffee two thumbs up. The Fairgrounds Tour is listed as strenuous, but it wasn’t too difficult. It’s longer than the other two. I’ve been to other cave tours, but this was really good. Even if you’ve visited other caves around the country, I would still visit wind cave. It’s famous for its boxwork. After our tour, we took some more time to look at the exhibits at the visitor center and for the kids to get the junior ranger badges. Then we headed out of the park.