Sunday, July 15, 2007

Custer State Park, Custer SD

Sadly, since we are on our trip we had to miss a wedding this weekend for two good friends of ours, Ben Custer and Shannon Byrne. As luck would have it however, we spent the entire weekend in Custer, South Dakota so we were sort of there in spirit.

Custer State Park should be a national park, it is amazing. The infrastructure and facilities are great and the sites to see are even better. We saw Mount Rushmore, a classic tourist attraction and while the sculpture of the faces in the rock is impressive, we found much more delight from the natural scenery in the park. On Saturday we drove a winding road up to about 6000 feet and spent the morning hiking through granite gorges, hardwood forests and a beautiful alpine lake called Sylvan Lake. That evening we went on the park’s nature drive (40 mile loop) and visited with about 300 of the park’s 1500 free-roaming Buffalo in the southern grassland portion. Once there were millions roaming the plains and then by the turn of the century we had killed all but 500 of them on the entire continent. What a perfect example of how efficient and extremely destructive/wasteful of our resources that we Americans can be.

We came over a hill and there was a herd of about 300 standing around the road. We rolled up and took about 50 pictures. They burped and moo’ed and ran around and did buffalo things… it will end up being a highlight of the trip for both of us.

This morning we got up and did a run around another lake that our campsite was by. When people tell you it is harder to workout or run/hike at altitude, believe them. Sara and I ran for about 30 minutes over some winding medium hills and were exhausted… it feels like you are pulling a bag of bricks.

Off to Yellowstone in Wyoming this week. We stopped in at Flying J truck stop to update this… the only internet within two hundred miles, but they do have a Starbucks in Gillette WY, so it is on the map by most people’s standards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At first i thought that was Chris since he hadn't shaven in a few weeks.