One day, we explored two underground marvels—Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park. In the morning, we investigated Jewel Cave, currently mapped and surveyed at 175 miles in length, the third longest cave in the world.[ii] Abundant calcite crystals within led to its name. In the afternoon, we journeyed to Wind Cave, seventh longest cave in the world.[iii] President Theodore Roosevelt established Wind Cave as a national park in 1903, the seventh so designated in the park system and first cave given international protection. Little did I know that this cavern offered a puzzle, connected—possibly—with Holmes and his London abode.
|Wind Cave National Park|
|Wind Cave Tour Routes|
|Detail of Wind Cave Tour Routes|
My search started at the Wind Cave National Park internet web site. Web pages provided limited information on each named room or passage in the cave. A list of rooms beginning with “B” provided a table with additional facts.[iv] “Baker Street” received its name in November 1982 from Mike Scholl, Dan Swenson, and NeNe Wolfe. (The Sherlockian/Great Game player in me humored over the question: “Is NeNe any relation to Nero?”). An explanation column in this list, where I hoped to find some reason for the naming, read: “The southern continuation of Wall Street.” No joy there. Baker Street and Wall Street are located within the “Historic” cave zone. Other zones include: Colorado Grotto, Club Room, Lakes, Half Mile Hall, North, Silent Expressway, Western Fringe, and Southern Comfort. (Cavers are delightfully creative in creating names.) Additional web site searches showed that Scholl, Swenson, and Wolfe named Wall Street in 1981[v] and that as late as November 1995 Paul Burger, Evan Anderson, and Hazel Barton journeyed to Baker Street and surveyed an additional 394.3 feet of cave.[vi]
|Wind Cave with Historic Zone Highlighted|