1st Nov, 2011

Black Hills Of South Dakota – Part Three -September 20 – 29, 2011

Custer State Park was fantastic!

In addition to the Needles Highway (there’s the eye of the needle in the picture above)…

…with its tight tunnels…

…and fantastic views of Mount Rushmore…

…there was also a huge event going on! The annual Buffalo Round-Up & Arts Festival happened to be scheduled the same weekend we visited Custer State Park. There were tons of exhibitors on hand…

Jason tried the spring heel shoe. Quite a different walking experience!

There was even a snake expert on hand! In the “wild west” fashion he plopped this wild rattlesnake down on the grass in front of us. The expert then assured us that as long as he keeps its attention all is good. We sat 10 feet from the snake! The snake expert then proceeded to tell us that while he had a rattlesnake bite on his leg the snakes usually catch his jeans …usually! And, in keeping with US healthcare it cost him $4,000 a vial for each of the 4 vials of antivenom needed to cure him from that one bite…$4,000 a piece!!

Of course there was tons of wildlife at Custer State Park. At first we thought this was a hummingbird, but it’s actually a hummingbird moth named White-Lined Sphynx Moth.

These three little chipmunks found a treasure trove of nuts by the road so we had to stop for a picture.

Isn’t it close to Thanksgiving?

This blue-eyed dog barked up a storm as we drove through the campground checking out future camp spots.

And this young fellow is just starting to grow his big horns.

After 7 months of searching for Big Horn we finally see these guys in the last park we visit.


Custer State Park has its own wild Burros. Take the Wildlife Loop Road for a good chance to see them.

Some of them know where food can be found so they just dig in and hope for the best!

But Buffalo (aka Bison) are the main attraction – especially during the Annual Buffalo Round-Up.

About 1,000 Buffalo are herded together…

…and driven towards the corral…

The cowboys rounding up the Buffalo need to be careful – not only are the Buffalo huge (weighing in at up to 2,000 lbs) but their horses might get spooked and force the rider off…just like the horse in the picture above. His rider caught up with him and jumped back on as if nothing had happened. Now that’s courage!

The Round-Up drew about 12,000 visitors. The crowds at the top of the photo are on the North Side. We were on the South Side with just as many people!

We really loved the Black Hills of South Dakota. But we had to hit the road and continue heading home. Next up…Badlands, Minuteman Missiles, Minnesota and finally, back in Ontario, Canada!

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