Saturday 23 July 2011
In the morning, we hung out at the playground across from our second cabin. The grown-ups played games on a nearby picnic table. Then we met up at the parking lot of Grandpa and Grandma’s hotel where they stayed so that Grandpa could do his radio show over the phone. They had Alligator/Dinosaur sunglasses for the grandkids and we all painted our back windshields with white shoe polish to match Denise’s. I had wanted to write something on ours, but couldn’t think of anything. She had a big S and then Sagers, South Dakota and Summer coming off of that with a flower… so we all followed suit! I’m sure we looked way awesome traveling in a caravan with 5 minivans and a compact car all with the same writing on the back! :D
Our family stayed together to go on the “Discovery Tour” with Stacey at the Jewel Caves. We went down in an elevator to a great, big room with tall ceilings. It felt much, much bigger than the Wind Caves and was much more comfortable to stand in. We could see some of the catwalks that the walking tours must use. The “jewels” are sparkly calcite deposits that the first explorers used to chip off and sell. Our guide shined his flashlight on them to catch the twinkle. J Our guide was VERY nice and we (Geoff ) asked all kinds of questions. Our tour was our family, two other families with kids and one older couple.
The discoverers of Jewel Cave were 2 young men who used dynamite to make the hole big enough to enter. At first, women had to change from dresses to coveralls and it was a big deal when they made it safe enough and discovered other, wider places that they could explore with their dresses on. :)
We drove the scenic wildlife loop back to camp without seeing any wildlife. Back at camp, we heard there was a herd of buffalo up the road just past the entrance to the campground. We jumped in the van and drove around the corner and there they were! There were hundreds! They were jogging on a trail right alongside the road. Lots of tan colored babies and some REALLY HUGE Daddy ones! They were hoofing it to a meadow that we could see through the trees. We drove around another corner and they were crossing the road! Right next to the van!! I rolled my window up quick!