Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sitting Bull Crystal Cave

We didn’t know anything about this cave, except that the woman at our campground told us that it was on the way to the Badlands. Although small, it was a good choice for us. We learned that it’s one of only five in the world that have dog-spire crystals, and it has the largest crystal of its kind in the world.

Unlike other caves we’ve been to, this cave doesn’t have stalagmites or stalactites to speak of. Instead it’s like being inside of a giant geode crystal. We walked down three flights of steep metal stairs. The hand rails felt like metal does in the winter, but they were necessary, as was watching every step.

I didn’t feel very cold until the end of the tour, about 45 minutes after we started, and at that point, I would have loved to just climb back up the steps to get warm, but our guide wanted to show us a water feature named Diamond Lake. We were only allowed to go three at a time, and when she showed it to us at first, she didn’t shine the light directly on the water, but covered the light up with her hand and shined it around the room, which caused the ceiling of the cave to reflect on the water and made the 6-inch deep “lake” look like it was 100-200 feet deep.

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