I'd made plans to be in Vedauwoo, and staying with Matt from Devil's Tower, so I reluctantly left the Katie and the Needles, and continued on my way. My hands were also pretty torn up. Backs of my hands from Devil's Tower, and the tips from the crystals at the Needles. I'd done 6 days straight climbing to here.
I drove south and out of South Dakota via Crazy Horse, another great big sculpture in the mountain, this one many times larger than all of Rushmore. The first sculptor had died, his children were now working on it, and it was expected to outlast them too.
Next stop, Wind Cave, one of the five longest cave systems in the world. (Number three I think) Wind cave is known for "boxwork" which is only found in a few other caves in the world, and never in such abundance as in Wind Cave. This is a very interesting formation of calcite, that apparently hardened in cracks in the surrounding limestone before the void of the cave was there, then was left behind as the limestone dissolved around it. Quite a change from the usual cave formations.
I took a reasonable tour, about as good as all checkerboard caving is, never goes far enough, never takes long enough, but I'm sure it was plenty for most people. Odd to be back in a cave again. I quite like many aspects of caving, and it was quite pleasant to be back in one.
On through the lonely roads of Wyoming. I got a warning for speeding in Guernsey, doing 36 in a 30 zone, about 200m from the town limits and the 65 sign. Oh well, he was nice about it. Briefly onto an interstate again, zooming down the highway, then back onto side roads to Laramie. Some awesome weather here. Green pastures, ranges behind them, and a storm front developing half way along. Ended up in Laramie, staying with Matt and his football player/frat boy room mates. College life again.
Crazy Horse, Rushmore fits inside his head
Boxwork in Wind Cave
More boxwork in WInd Cave
Welcome to South Dakota! (I missed the sign on the way in)
Weather just north of Laramie