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WHERE AM I? Diamond in the Rough


Examine the photo and clues below to pinpoint this location. Choose right and you could win a $100 BSA Supply Group gift card.


CLOSE YOUR EYES. See that black darkness? This is what my view looks like as I stand deep beneath the Dakota landscape. Flip the switch on your flashlight, or follow a dimly lit dirt path, and you’ll see much more than dark emp- tiness in this remote cave. When news of a crystal-encrusted chasm


reached the ears of 1800s-era prospectors, people bid their hometowns farewell for a chance to strike it rich. And while they didn’t find gold within the cavernous walls of this for- mation, they discovered a phenomenon bearing a similar shimmer. Unlike most, this cave wasn’t formed by an


underground river. Instead, acid-rich ground- water carved out more than 150 miles of subterranean hollows, leaving behind calcium deposits on the cave’s inner surfaces. These frosty, crystal-like adornments still draw curious spelunkers today. Explorers aren’t the only visitors. With year-


round temps at 50 degrees, the caverns convert into a winter shelter—called a hibernaculum— for more than 1,000 hibernating bats, including the rare Townsend’s Big-Eared variety, escaping the frigid temperatures above. A little creepy, yes. But it’s an otherworldly


sight to see. Where Am I? ¿


DO YOU KNOW THE ANSWER? Enter our “Where Am I?” reader contest online at scoutingmagazine. org/WhereAmI. Or, send your thought along with your name and home address in a letter to Where Am I?, Scouting magazine, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079. We’ll take all of the correct answers and select one entrant at random to receive a $100 gift card to the BSA’s Supply Group. The deadline is Monday, April 23, 2012. The winner and correct answer will be announced at blog.scoutingmagazine. org shortly after the deadline. Good luck!


NEED ANOTHER CLUE? Visit scoutingmagazine.org/WhereAmI.


44 S COUTING ¿ MARCH•APRIL 2012


THORSTEN SCHEUERMANN


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