Monday, May 18

Cave & Carving

Another cave today - Jewel Cave National Monument - in which we descended to the 390 foot level, before (get ready for this) riding the "wimp" elevator back to the surface. Remember, this is a long trip, so we need to conserve our energy.


After the cave tour we stopped at the Woodcarvers Museum in Custer and saw what talented folks can create from a block of wood.

A disappointing tale. It's now getting late in day so we head for Custer State Park to spend the night as we had heard good things about the park. We arrived and they had plenty of room, BUT a reservation was required and they wanted to charge us a $7.50 reservation fee for a site that no one was going to use. Plus a Park Entrance fee, plus the campsite fee. Total of $49, plus way too much hassle = we moved on down the road to a National Forrest Service CG, no reservation needed, paid the camp host $9 and are settled in for the night. In fairness, we've encountered similar bureaucrat procedures (and costs) at a couple of other parks - but it's still disappointing, and demonstrates the great value (and user friendly experience) that our National Park System provides.