WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK- When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. This proverbial phrase attempts to inspire optimism for those facing a tough challenge.
For the staff at Wind Cave National Park, it has become the theme of a less than ideal summer season.
In late June of this year, both of the Park's elevators were shut down for safety concerns.
During the Park's peak attendance, the elevators can take more than 200 trips each day.
The elevators had been scheduled for repair later in the year, but an impromptu and indefinite stop of their services was not in the plans.
All public subterranean tours are canceled until the elevators are back in working condition.
Complicating the situation was the timing. July is Wind Cave's biggest month for visitors.
You have free articles remaining.
The Park is trying to mitigate the impact of the elevator shutdown by focusing on more ranger interaction above ground.
Walking tours around the cave's natural entrance and informative talks about the history of the cave happen daily at the Visitor's Center.
Rangers also alternate between bird watching hikes and walking tours of the Sanson Ranch every other day, with the exception of Sunday.
There is even a mock cave made for children to crawl through at the Visitor's Center.
"We are trying to make really good lemonade," said Tom Farrell, Chief of Interpenetration at Wind Cave.
Farrell added that a bright spot that has come out of the situation is more engagement with Jewel Cave National Monument. He said some of Wind Cave's rangers are sent to help with interpretation at the neighboring cave.
Wind Cave's elevators will hopefully be up and running by Labor Day Weekend.