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  • Wind Cave National ParkWind Cave National Park Hot Springs, South Dakota
    This magnificent park is 10 miles north of Hot Springs in the western part of South Dakota and was established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1903.  It was the first cave to be made a national park anywhere in the world.  Most noted for its beautiful displays of calcite formations known as boxwork and 95% of the world's boxwork formations are in the Wind Cave.  It is also well known for its frostwork, which is needle like growths that are exquisite in their design and beauty, which is completely natural.  The Wind Cave is the densest cave system in the world and the fourth longest, although four new miles are being found each year and presently it is 131 miles long.  Above it the biggest natural mixed grass prairie in the world is found.  It is an incredible park that should be visited at least once in a person's lifetime.  The Lakota people that lived in the Black Hills spoke about this hole that blew air and they believe it is sacred and that they came up from the depths of the earth through this hole.  The first documented mention of the cave was by two brothers that discovered its existence in 1881, named Tom and Jesse Bingham.  Supposedly Tom looked down the small 10 inch by 14 inch hole and the wind blew his hat off.  Few people went into the cave until the 1890s when a 16 year old boy called Alvin McDonald started exploring and the cave was bigger than believed.  His father, J. D. was employed by the South Dakota Mining Company to see if any gold was there, but couldn't and a chance to give guided tours arose.  These were done with candles and by crawling through narrow passageways that weren't always easy.  The park contains a very diverse ecosystem with eastern and western plants and animal species including elk, prairie dogs, pronghorn antelope, bison and black footed ferrets.  This bison herd is one of four that are genetically pure and free to roam the public lands in North America.  There are a few roads and 30 miles of trails that go through the park making it almost completely accessible.  It had almost a million visitors in 2003.

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 Avis Rental Car Reservations South Dakota

Avis Car Rentals Pierre Mun. Apt.
 3605 Apt. Rd.
Rapid City Reg. Apt. Avis Rental Cars
 4550 Terminal Rd. Ste. 107
Avis Car Rentals Sioux Falls Reg. Apt.
 2801 Jaycee Lane

  • Firehouse Brewing CompanyRancher's Pie Firehouse Brewing company Hot Springs, South Dakota
     Entrees; souvalaki is 8 ounces of seasoned and marinated pork tenderloin served on a bed of fluffy brown rice, piled high with grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms with lemon wedge and tziki sauce on the side; spontaneous heating is an original, hot and spicy gumbo recipe made with Chukkar ale, combining Andouille sausage, shrimp, chicken and buffalo sausage in a rich gravy and served over a fluffy brown rice; and the Bangor ladder which is traditional Scottish banger sausages, simmered in their extra pale ale and served on top of roasted garlic and cheese mashers, comes with sour-kraut and sautéed onions and served with beer mustard.  Another favorite specialty is the rancher's pie that is mashers layered with tender beer and vegetables, smothered with parmesan cheese and finished under the broiler served with brown sauce and beer bread.

March 14, 2011