Custer, South Dakota

We arrived safely at Custer State Park in South Dakota. We settled in quickly at the campsite and went out to explore. Mom found a buffalo duck and named him Buffaduck. He is our new mascot. Of course we went to drive the loop and it started to SNOW. Really? This is two days of snow in a row. This time it was sticking! 
We were excited to see that the buffalo were already dropping calves for the year. Boy were there a lot of them! These two big boys were 6 feet off the campground fence. We took a Jeep tour and got to enter some of the off the beaten path areas that park guests aren’t allowed. We had to wait for baby bison to clear the road several times. The part has over 1000 head of bison currently. After the tour we headed on the loop road again and then around the park. We found lots of snow to play in. We opted for longer pants today and that was a good choice. Dad trying to break up the snowball fight. What a spectacular view! The Black Hills dates back to the precambrian. It was part of the Laramide Orogeny. Most of the rock is shale, slate, limestone and granite with bits of sandstone and quartzite. There was some gold found in the hills but nothing majorly notable. Our loop took us through the Needles Highway, sorry no photos this trip and ended us in Hill City.We scoped out a place called the Alpine Inn for dinner and had to wait a while for it to open. We passed the time wandering town.  I got thrown in jail! Our meat at the Alpine was amazing. I had bacon wrapped filet. The menu only really has three options, a small filet, big filet and spetzel. The dessert menu was longer than I am tall! I opted for peanut butter pie, it was GIANT! Mom had butter pecan ice cream brownie. She could only eat less than half! Bread pudding for Dad. On the way home we saw some of the big horn sheep just nibbling grass in the cracks of the road. The next day was a trip to Wind Cave! We took a backroad through the hills versus the main roads. It was totally worth it. We got to see the bison herd of the NPS. We had a great tour of the caves and then headed back for more driving and visiting animals. Tomorrow hiking day. Since Mom is still kind of lame with her foot injury Dad and I went on a long hike without her and Emmerson. We geared up, packed snacks and water and stole the jeep for the day. Mom and E went on a scooter ride and rerouted a few times due to bisonon the trails. Dad and I parked the car and headed out across the terrain.The hills were a bit much for us flat Florida people. We made it to the end of the trail and headed back. We had a few run ins with bison where we had to reroute or wait them out. Better watch your step!  We approached the jeep to find it surrounded by Bison. We had to wait them out. This is the time of year when they are trying to rub off their winter coats. Unfortunalty they did this on Mom’s car! Happy Mother’s Day, we got your car BUFF’d!

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