Cave Of The Mounds

Thanks to Devils Lake being jam packed with people coming in for Memorial Day we were in search for alternative things to do.  It was a beautiful day for a drive though so we went a bit out of the way to visit Cave Of The Mounds.

After a short video presentation (vintage 1990 VHS aww yeah) we were turned loose into the caves with probably the worst possible group of tourists including screaming children and babies.  Most of them touched everything in sight causing permanent damage.  Hooray!

Joking aside if you can ignore the stupid people in your expedition party the caves are pretty cool.  The site is now recognized as a National Natural Landmark for its outstanding geological resources and is said to be the premiere cave in the area (if not the entire state or upper midwest).

What makes it special?  In a word: speleothems, or cave formations resulting from thousands of years of mineral deposits.  I’ve visited other caves like Carlsbad Caverns, and while Cave Of The Mounds isn’t on the same scale it’s still a massive place with amazing features to see.

Here’s a section with a combination of features and a large water pool below.  Different minerals produce the different colors of the formations.

Another small offshoot from the main tour walking path.  This one is more dry and probably not growing much today.  One of the “fun facts” from our guide – it takes over 100 years for the formations to grow 1 inch, hence why it is so important not to touch the rocks.

At the end of the tour there is an amazing tunnel offshoot with water pools below that appear to stretch into infinity.

Another very interesting and unexpected demonstration: the tour guide turned on black lights and the walls appear to glow.  I can’t remember the details but would imagine some of the minerals are reactive.  Very cool!

Bonus Fun

On return to the campground at White Mound County Park there was a tree that uprooted & fell over the main entrance drive.  After driving into town for phone signal & talking with locals at the Shell station and county law enforcement they were able to get the tree removed.  Never know what you will come across next during adventures!

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