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Black Hills, South Dakota

We set out today for a little sightseeing drive in the Black Hills. On our list: Custer State Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Mt. Rushmore, and lunch in Hill City. 

Custer State Park was pretty, and we were headed for the part of the loop called "Wildlife Loop Road." I think we both were feeling a little scenery spoiled after having just come from the Badlands and all that crazy ragged landscape. 


Kevin: It's pretty, but it kinda looks like the landscape around Bend [Oregon], or Paso Robles [California]. Yellow grass…pine trees.

Me: Yeah, it's pretty, but it's pretty in that kind of boring pretty kind of way. 

(I know, deep.)

And just as we finished the words "boring pretty" we rounded a corner, and then "Whoa whoa whoa!" this:


We slowly made our way through them, but they just kept coming. There were hundreds of them. Hundreds!!!


The shiny spots on the street in our lane are from where the bison would stand for like ten minutes, just licking the ground. Bugs, maybe?


Lookit 'em all!





When, just tell me when have you ever driven on ANY road called something like "Wildlife Loop Road" that you weren't TOTALLY disappointed because all you saw were squirrels?? 

Well, this "Wildlife Loop Road" in the Black Hills of South Dakota? They are NOT kiddin' around at all.

After we eventually (after much inching along through the gigantic herd of buffalo) got moving again, we were stopped by about eight or ten donkeys in the road. They were extremely curious and came right up to the car to say hello.




Moving on down the road: antelope:



Wild turkey (ruuuunnnnn little buddies!!!!) …. (don't worry, we've got ourselves a duck for Thanksgiving):


Some mountain goats:


And of course, deer, and a squirrel or two. A pretty eventful drive. A little longer than we'd planned, but super cool!

We stopped (not really stopped, more like slowed) and saw the Crazy Horse Memorial (started in 1948, still not done):


These folks, and the folks at La Sagrada Familia (started 1882, still not done), need to get ON with it already!!

We had lunch at a place our campground owner recommended in Hill City called The Alpine Inn. Wow. The decor in here is really….not our style at all.


Our lunch was really good though. 🙂

Mount Rushmore was our last stop and it was pretty cool. The drive is best if you do the loop counter-clockwise (as was recommended to us…again by our local campground owner) because you come through the one-lane tunnels with a view of Mount Rushmore each time:



Hey!! How'd they do that?? :) 


We did the hike/walk around to the bottom of the sculpture, over to the "artist's studio" (closed) and then back up the hill to the parking area. Oh yeah, and this: