Thursday, May 28, 2015 – Broken Arrow Horse Campground, Custer, SD
This morning after breakfast, Dean and the boys decided to walk around the park while I did dishes and got things picked up before leaving. They found another trail and walked a good part of it. It was also hard to tell exactly where the trail was. Upon their return we loaded up and pulled out at 11:30 a.m.
It wasn’t long before we passed into South Dakota.
We arrived in Custer, SD at approximately 1:50 p.m. This drive was short and fun – as we traveled through Wind Cave National Park where we viewed many buffalo and prairie dogs. It was exciting to think about all of the wildlife we hoped to see while on this trip.
Our first buffalo sighting.
As we pulled into Broken Arrow Campground, they were frantically mowing the park and the owner yelled to us from his mower to go ahead and park, don’t worry about paying me now, we are hurrying to get the mowing finished before it rains. He was a very nice guy and we did finally catch up with him the evening before we left so we could pay him. Bet that doesn’t happen much with most campgrounds. We no more than backed in and got the RV unlocked than it started to rain and then hail. It finally got big enough we had to all climb back in the truck to wait it out. It slowed to just rain and then the hail started back again. Here is a picture.
After we finally got set up and inside, I grabbed some pork chops out of the refrigerator and stuck them in the crockpot with some seasonings for our dinner that night. We wasted no time in setting out to explore Custer. By the way, they were back on the mowers still trying to finish mowing when we left. We decided to head into Custer State Park. Stockade Lake was our first stop shortly after entering the park. Wow it was just beautiful. The overcast skies definitely enhanced the beauty and the reflection of the beautiful trees and clouds in the water that was literally as smooth as glass. I took way too many pictures but it was picture perfect! I tried to pick some of the better ones.
I was really taken with the reflections in the water. The rock formations are wonderful as well, as you can see in the picture below on the left.
On the right you can see the spillway from the lake.
Tucker getting a picture.
We continued on one of the scenic roads that ending up leading us through two tunnels with beautiful pull-out areas and overlooks. It was so amazing to see the various rock formations and pine trees and aspens dotted all over the area. As in Nebraska and at home it had rained much here in SD as well. All of the streams along the roads were not only full, but flooding out of their boundaries. At one of the tunnels we stopped and walked several short trails to some overlooks. Here we visited with a couple from either New Hampshire or Vermont. They had been on the road for several days and were really enjoying their time here. I visited with them about possible routes to New York as we plan to visit Matt and Megan this fall. They told us they got on I-80 and took it all the way to SD. Not sure we are that crazy about traveling entirely by Interstate but we appreciated the information all the same. They were very nice. I love visiting with folks – as my sisters will tell you and we walked with her and her husband along the trails.
Part of the scenic byway we were on. Another storm looked like it was moving in. We had a little rain but nothing much. Just made the sky beautiful.
Our first animal in the wild - just like home!
One of the two tunnels we passed through on this scenic road.
If you enlarge this you will see Mount Rushmore, which could be seen through the tunnel.
Just a beautiful picture of the blue sky and that stormy weather approaching.
Leaving there we then by-passed the Mt. Rushmore monument from afar. It was exciting to see this renowned landmark and we look forward to seeing it close up later this week. As we went on down the road, we made a turn and here was Washington’s profile.
Look close for Washington's profile.
We returned to Custer through Hill City which was a fun looking community with lots of shops, a passenger train station and lots and lots of water. Everywhere we looked there was water.
It was hard to get a good picture as we drove by. But this shows how the creeks were full.
Upon returning to Broken Arrow Campground and Bentley we settled in, with a dinner of crock-pot pork chops, mashed potatoes and green beans. It wasn’t long until we were ready to lay our heads down. We have a lot to do yet.