Saturday, September 12, 2020

Custer State Park Day 2

 We love Custer so much, we headed back for day 2 to see what we could see. Our park is a little far from Custer State Park (about 60 miles) but the drive is so beautiful and oh, my gosh! We saw the biggest bison jam ever! We found out later, that the herd numbered about 500 that day in this location. Be sure to ask at the ranger station when you buy your pass (20.00 for 1-7 days) where the herd was last seen. They are VERY accurate in their reported sightings advice and we have seen the herds every time where they said they would be.

The thicker black line is the park wildlife loop around the park. On day 1, they were on the inside park gravel roads, the skinnier lighter reddish brown lines. We were glad we had the truck to go down these dusty gravel roads.

On day 2, they were on the main wildlife loop road, and how! It was nuts! Picture a herd of about 400 in all, spread out on both sides of the main wildlife loop road, all heading for a different side of the road, but the cars kept interfering with the cross over to the other pasture. The cows, bulls, and babies kept coming and the cars kept coming.
It's hard to picture the enormity if the herd with this photo, but the bison are EVERYWHERE! Sparky has a video of the bison coming and coming, while the cars try to keep moving forward. It's hilarious because as the cars pass in front of our truck, (there is a fork in the road), you see people sticking up out of their moon roofs, trying to take photos. (Sparky has not figured out how to incorporate a video into the blog. She did it ten years ago, but things have changed. She will have to relearn!)
Sparky is in the bed of the truck, Eldo is worrying

Sparky decided to get into the bed of the truck (when it was safe, reports Eldo) and take photos from there. 

We saw pronghorns...people call them pronghorn antelope, but another name is the South Dakota antelope. They are the fastest land animal in North America. They can run up to 60 mph for great distances. A two day old fawn can outrun a man. At 4 days, it can out sprint a horse! They can wander up to 10 miles a day looking for food, so they are all over the park, you just have to look in the grassy areas. They blend in extremely well! They have cool markings on their throats, and the horns can be up to 15".
We were fortunate to see a small herd of them. Most of the time, we have seen them solo....

As we were heading towards the end of the loop, we saw prairie dogs!
Bunches of them! But here is just one...He just sat and sat right beside the truck. We think he was waiting for us to throw some kind of food at him. Nope, not these travelers! Sorry, dog.

We continued out of the park and saw deer after deer after deer. You don't see those as often where we used to live in Florida, but boy, are they abundant here! You have to watch the road very carefully at all times of the day. 

And that's all for today, folks...The End. Until next time....

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