Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where the Buffalo Roam…Which is Anywhere They Want :)

As I was bemoaning the fact that we hadn’t seen much wildlife since being in the West, that certainly changed yesterday. At least we’ve now seen plenty of Buffalo!

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Buffalo. All over. Next to the road. In the road. In the ditches. Out in the fields. You name it, they roamed it.

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No, I don’t mean on the main roads in South Dakota. I mean on the 18 mile Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park! An awesome sight to behold…as long as you’re in the car and stay there. Signs are posted all over that “Buffalo are dangerous” but there was always someone out of their car trying to get a better picture. I felt much safer shooting from my window :)

Although we were told at the very beautiful visitors center to Custer State Park (the 2nd largest state park in the nation)

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that we could expect to also see elk, big horn sheep, mountain goats, pronghorn antelope and white-tail and mule deer, we were only lucky enough to see the buffalo and a couple of pronghorn antelope off in the distance.

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EXCEPT for some very friendly burros :) They were pretty cute and used to interacting with the tourists.

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They would walk right up to your car window, if you stopped, looking for a treat. There were many people feeding them. I’m surprised they weren’t chubbier :) There weren’t as many of them as the buffalo, but there were many.

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We purchased an annual park pass so we can return as many times as we want while we’re here. We only touched on one part of the park this time. Maybe next time we’ll see something else :) We did detour off the Loop at Mt Coolidge Lookout and climbed to the top for some awesome views.

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From the Wildlife Loop, we drove into Custer, SD stopping on the way to scout out nice little lakes to go kayaking :)

Stockade Lake

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Bismarck Lake

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Or, Sylvan Lake which we found later in the day…

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I think I could be happy at any of the 3 :)

We didn’t spend much time in Custer (the town). It was very touristy and we were content to just walk the main street to see what was there and then continue on. We ended up at the Crazy Horse Monument, a work in progress. Click on the link if you’d like to know more about this memorial.

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Our day wasn’t yet finished, but I’ll save the rest for next time :)  Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

8 comments:

  1. I just loved all the artistic buffalo on every street corner in Custer. We really enjoyed the park although because of the price we didn't stay in the park but at a very nice campground outside.

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  2. We really enjoyed our time at Custer SP last year, and, yes, the buffalo certainly do roam out there. Some of the burros would stop right in the middle of the road, making it rather challenging to get by, but they sure are cute!

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  3. Oh Gail, come back to Colorado! We saw elk, big bulls and a female w a baby, moose, marmots, pikas...no bear though. All this week as we drove to and through Rocky Mountain NP. No smoke issues at all!

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  4. The first time we visited Custer SP, we got suroounded by a buffalo herd and were not able to move for about 20 minutes. It was fun, but boy do they stink (the buffalo, not us).

    Another visit with the granddaughters, we feed carots to the donkeys, they loved it, both the girls and the donkeys.

    We could live in the Black Hills if it wasn't for that winter thing.

    As to the Crazy Horse thing, what a blight on nature. Don't think anyone alive today will ever see it done. I find it a bit ostentatious, they could have done a much simpler, smaller, tasteful monument and had it done without destroying a huge mountain.

    Just my opinion and it may stink like a buffalo! ;c)

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  5. Wow - love the pictures especially of the wildlife and especially of the buffalo! Amazing! I know you guys are just having a grand ole' time!

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  6. We loved our time at Custer SP. We just didn't spend enough time exploring it;o((

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