Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Our first visit to Custer State Park

Iron Creek Tunnel (one way) was the first tunnel we went through on Needles Highway in Custer State Park.
 It was 8'9" wide x 10'10" high. 

It was near 90° Tuesday so we decided to take a road trip through the stunning Custer State Park. Although it may not have been early enough, we took the Wildlife Loop Trail as soon as we got there in the morning.

Later in the morning we followed Needles Highway from Legion Lake Lodge to Sylvan Lake. It was a tight fit on parts of the road with big pick-ups talking more than their share of the space, and people parking on the side of the road due to small parking areas. 

We got a call and headed down to Custer, SD to join some friends we had met in Galveston one winter. They were also vacationing in the area. Craig and Glen are from "Minnesoooda." We had a great lunch and visit! Custer was full of tourists.

This buffalo (yes same animal they call a bison in other areas) was meandering down the Wildlife Loop Road shortly after we started .

In September they have a Buffalo round up at the Bison Center and Corrals. It's a big deal with people coming early in the morning to watch. They are sorted, branded, tested, and treated (the bison, not the people).

We didn't see a lot of wildlife, maybe because we weren't early enough or because of the heat. I was so happy to see the Burros, who just like the Buffalo, walk right down the middle of the road. If you have your car windows open, like the car in front of us,  they might stick their head inside hoping for a snack. It is against Park rules, by the way, to feed wild animals

Needles Eye Tunnel is only 8' wide and 9'9" tall.


On the west side of the tunnel is the Needes eye. 

Appropriate subjects for their artwork. 

These 3 wheelers were everywhere and looked like a fun ride. 

 A memorial to Lakota (Ogala band) war leader Crazy Horse is located in the Black Hills west of Custer SP. It is on private land and is the world's largest mountain carving. It was started in 1948 and will include him riding his horse and pointing to his tribal land. With the death of the original sculptor, design changes, and lack of money it is far from completed, although work supposedly continues.

The sky was clear over Rapid City.
Where are the Piepers now? Rapid City, SD

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