Adventures in South Dakota: Custer State Park

After our visit to Mount Rushmore we headed over to Custer State Park to camp for the night, first stopping to get a cake for HorseyBug’s birthday. She turned 12 and we wanted to acknowledge the day, even if we were planning to celebrate it at Grandma and Papa’s.

The drive down Iron Mountain was absolutely gorgeous! The air smelled so clean and pretty.  It took a while to get down it, and when we finally got the right road we were surrounded by a herd of buffalo. This happened twice while we there. Everyone ate it up, of course, and we used lots of digital shots taking pictures.

Custer State Park buffalo

The girls thought it was amazing that we could have touched them out our windows! Another fun thing was seeing so many new babies!

Custer State Park buffalo baby

We finally found our campsite and pitched the tent:

Custer State Park Tent

Roasted our hot dogs:

Custer State Park roasting hot dogs

Celebrated HorseyBug’s birthday:

Custer State Park HorseyBug's 12th Birthday

and fell into our sleeping bags at 10:45 pm, only to be greeted by full daylight at 5 am. By 6 am everyone was up, dressed, fed and playing while Mr. Bug and I re-packed the car.  Everyone else in the campground was still sleeping, and I had to keep reminding the kids that we had to be QUIET!

Next thing I know, JuneBug is hollering at the top of her lungs! “A buffalo, a buffalo!” We turn around and sure enough, there was a buffalo running through the camp. We hurried the packing up and tried to slink out of the camp before any irate sleepers found us… 🙂

We headed out to enjoy the beauty of Custer State Park. Our first stop of the morning was a small cave.

Custer State Park Cave

We barely saw it from the road.

Custer State Park Cave Intrance

We are in all in the entrance – it really wasn’t a cave, but it was fun to explore!

Custer State Park Top of the Cave

We hiked to the top of the rocks that made the little cave.

Then we resumed our drive. Along the way, we enjoyed the barn swallows (I didn’t get a picture of them), prairie dogs, and see what other wildlife we could. Here is a small sampling:

Custer State Park Deer

Deer (why do they always cross the road in front of us?)

Custer State Park Pronghorn

A pronghorn

Custer State Park Wild Turkeys Wild Turkeys

We also stopped to view the Eye of the Needle formation along Needles Highway:

Custer State Park Eye of the Needle

And enjoy some Black Hills rock climbing:

Custer State Park Rock Climbing

On our way to Wind Cave at last, we saw this lovely and inviting sight:

Custer State Park Lake

Not bad for about 4 1/2 hours!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s