"Wild" Burros roamed around.
Wild turkeys trotted along.
Traffic Jam in Custer State Park
Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln
Approaching Mt. Rushmore
Skinny tunnel at The Needles.
September 14-17, 2007 - After watching Devil's Tower retreat in the
distance, we made a brief stop in the Black Hills, visiting Custer State
Park and Mt. Rushmore. There was lots of wildlife in Custer State
Park. A group of buffalo took their time crossing the road and caused
quite a traffic tie-up. The burros were wandering across the road and
lazing in the shade of a tree near the road as well. Some wild turkeys
caught our eye as they pecked along at the roadside, and a deer
stopped to look at us.
We enjoyed the three dimensional nature of Mt. Rushmore's
famous sculptures of the four presidents as we caught them first
from one side and then from the other. Another famous sculpture
in the area is of the Indian Crazy Horse. It was begun shortly after
Mt. Rushmore was completed in the 1940's, but has been funded
solely by private donation, making progress very slow. The
organization leading its creation has turned down federal funding
We drove through The Needles. These granite formations are very
thin and tall, and the road is extremely narrow and twisty. After we
barely squeaked through a tunnel carved in the rock, we watched
in awe as an experienced tour bus driver expertly took his bus
through the same opening. His passengers reached out their
windows to touch the rock wall on either side of the bus.
Custer State Park was a real
jewel, and we would have
happily stayed several weeks.
However, the cold weather
was starting to penetrate our
sweaters and jackets and we
had a long way to go to get
back to the warmer climate in
Arizona. So we headed west
through Wyoming, making
our way to northern Utah, stopping first at Flaming Gorge
National Recreation Area.