Friday, June 7, 2019

Friday in the Black Hills, SD

Note: We have very limited Internet so posts will be whenever I can make it happen.

Study nature, 
love nature, 
stay close to nature. 
It will never fail you. 
                           - Frank Lloyd Wright.

It was a little cooler this morning and partly cloudy. We headed south to Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore. We crossed Pactola Lake.

A little further on, we were stopped by a flagger right by Horse Thief Resort.

I quickly took this photo before we moved. 

Of course, I didn't realize we wouldn't be moving for over 1/2 hour. They were working on the road ahead and totally closed the road for a while so they could work. 

We passed through a lot of tunnels today. Some were quite tight.

Sylvan Lake was gorgeous and by this time the temperatures were in the 80s.

We traveled the Needles Highway.

We had to beware of pedestrians in tunnels.

The Needles Highway ran into the Wildlife Loop Road of Custer State Park. We drove quite a while and saw a couple of antelope and 3 buffalo. When we got to the Visitor Station, we were talking with one of the Park employees and she told us that there were two buffalo herds down Fisherman Flats Road. So we decided to drive that gravel road. It was lengthy and we began to wonder but then we saw a herd in the distance - too far away to get pictures. We continued on and there was another herd that Ray could capture with a large lens. We figured we were getting close to the end of the road when we encountered a third herd right next to the road!

I loved seeing the calves.

On the return trip from Fisherman Flats, Ray spotted this lone tree on the horizon. I had to have a picture.

When we got back on the Wildlife Loop Road, it finally happened - we got caught in a buffalo jam! Actually it was only one buffalo. A motto from a resort here is "May you get caught in many buffalo jams."

The buffalo decided to finally move off of the road and graze.

We stopped at The State Game Lodge in Custer State Park for lunch and enjoyed a fantastic buffet. Amazingly, the dessert was our least favorite part of the meal!

We continued on towards Mt. Rushmore.

That is Mt. Rushmore in the mountain on the top left. 

We had to negotiate a couple of pigtails.
The sun was so bright, it was hard to get good pictures.

Eventually we left the crowds and headed home and found yet another tunnel. I missed pictures of at least two tunnels today.

We got home just as the rain started - we had severe storm warnings with hail expected. Our hosts met us and cleared a space for us to put the jeep inside the big shed. Nice!

After the rain ended, we hiked to the pond to catch the sunset. The color looked better down the valley past the pond so that's where I too this photo.

Tomorrow we may hike that valley - it depends on the weather. It would be nice to enjoy some of the land/scenery right here.


  1. What a great day! while I always find Mt. Rushmore awe inspiring, I was struck by the buffalo. What an awesome creature....majestic and primitive at the same time. And getting to see 3 herds is great....I am glad they are thriving.
    Your tunnel pictures were amazing too. Imagine what it took to hew thru all that rock to put the roads in. What stories of history your day tells.

  2. I am in awe and almost speechless reading your posts and seeing your pictures. You have such adventures when you travel. Dave joined me to see your posts...he was as impressed as I am! Enjoy!

  3. I ran across your blog just today. I loved your pictures! We were there last May 2018 and the fog was SO thick there was no Mt Rushmore! So we ended up at Custer State Park and had a wonderful time hiking. We also hiked some VERY muddy trails in the Black Hills which was its own fun. Thanks for the memories!



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