Custer State Park to Mt. Rushmore

Today we drove into Custer State Park to look for animals and see the sights.

We drove along the Wildfife Loop which goes down and around the southern end of the park.  For a while we didn’t see anything but the first animal we enjoyed was a white tailed deer.  He was curious for the length of his tail.

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We were bummed we hadn’t seen any buffalo since last night we saw two of them beside the road, but then we noticed several cars stopped up ahead.  They were stopped to see a herd of buffalo grazing right next to the roadway.  A couple buffalo wandered into the street and walked right past us, which freaked out Sarah Michael, but they weren’t interested in us at all and didn’t bother us.

There were some young ones in the herd and they were very cute.

We continued on and enjoyed the scenery and more animals.  We saw lots more deer and also more donkeys.

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Then we followed the same path out of the park that I’d driven the night before with the RV.  It was great to see the route in the daytime.  We also learned the tight winding bridges are called the Pigtail Bridges and it was cool to actually see them, since last night I had no visual context.

We were also able to see Mt. Rushmore from the mountain road, another thing I couldn’t know at night.

So we made our way down the mountain and onto proper-size roads and then made our way to Mt. Rushmore.

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Mt. Rushmore is quite a sight.  It is exactly what I thought it would be, but it was still neat to see it in person.  We didn’t stay long at the monument, we took a few pictures and visited the gift shop.  In the gift shop I spoke to a woman who was sitting at a table signing books.  She was coauthor of a book about the mountain’s history, so I asked her a few questions then had her sign a copy for us.  I look forward to reading up.  For example did you know that there were nine major design changes to the mountain during construction?  Neither did I, but I don’t know the details yet.  I have to read the book.

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