Wind Cave and Crazy Horse

Trip Start Aug 17, 2008
Trip End Oct 2008

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Sunday, August 31, 2008

Visited Wind Cave and Crazy Horse today, and got there along some very scenic drives - the Needles Highway is particularly picturesque (I'll be exploring it in more detail tomorrow; today it's just a conveyance).

Wind Cave is a pretty interesting feature - it's one of the few large caves in the world not formed by an underground river.  It's also home to the only known formations of what's known as 'boxwork' - a honeycomb-like latticework of minerals jutting out from the cavern walls.  I took a bunch of photos in the cave, but unfortunately none of them really came out.  The lights in the cave were too dim to get good definition without a flash, and the flash was so bright that all the detail got washed out.  I've got one semi-decent shot of the boxwork, but the rest aren't worth uploading.

Went on from there to Crazy Horse, which as the name suggests is a monument to the Lakota chief of the same name, murdered by a US soldier under a flag of truce.  Good heartwarming stuff to stoke the fires of White Guilt.  Seriously - if you don't know the story of Crazy Horse, read up.  We seriously boned this guy.

Anyway, the Crazy Horse monument is a mountain carving like Mt. Rushmore, but it's only just beginning to emerge -- the face is pretty much done, and you can start to see the outstretched arm and horse's head.  Also, it's on a much grander scale than Rushmore - something like 10x larger overall.  More info here.

On the way back to the campsite I dallied briefly at the extremely picturesque Sylvan Lake, and then almost hit a buffalo.
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jboyens on

Flash diffuser
If you find that your flash is too bright might try and hack a diffuser. Use a piece of masking tape over the flash. It'll still really brighten things up, but will cut down on the harshness and sharp shadows. Really helps.

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