United States
Custer County

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76 travelers at this place

  • Sep5

    A Drive and A Walk in Custer State Park

    September 5, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 88 °F

    With a forecasted high of 95F we knew we needed to get out early if we wanted to do anything today.

    Early works best for wildlife sightings anyway, so we packed our breakfast sandwiches and headed into Custer State Park. It wasn’t even 7:00a. We saw lots of white-tailed deer between the campground and the park — mostly does and fawns ... feeding near the edge of the road. Too skittish for a photo op, so we left them in peace.

    Once on the Wildlife Loop, the usual suspects were out and about ... some pronghorn antelope and the burros anxiously awaiting handouts. There weren’t many people driving the loop at that hour, so we were able to take it slow and easy. And even spent a bit of time with the burros.

    Once we were on SD-87, we encountered a couple of bison bulls near the road. But our best sighting was when we stopped at Legion Lake for our picnic breakfast. A big bull was quietly grazing at the campground across the road. I could have walked over for a photo op, but approaching an animal of that size on foot was not something I was willing to do.

    Instead, after we ate our breakfast at a table on the outdoor deck by the lodge, we drove over to the campground for a couple of photos. Then, we parked the car and began our walk around Legion Lake. The day was already showing every indication of becoming steamy. There was enough shade along the short trail, however, that we managed to walk comfortably.

    It was 10:00a when we got back to the campground. Though the property is full for the Labor Day holiday, most of the people were off sightseeing. The campground was nice and quiet ... just the way we like it.

    Since we finished our laundry yesterday, we had a relaxing afternoon at the campground with only a few chores to prepare for tomorrow’s departure.
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  • Sep4

    The Painted Bison of Custer

    September 4, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    On the way back from Rapid City (covered in the last two footprints), we changed our plans to include what Mui is now referring to as the “grand farewell tour.” Instead of taking the most direct route to Custer, we drove by way of Mt Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, where we waved adieu to both.

    If Custer State Park has its herds of bison — some 1,300 head strong ... give or take a few — the town has its colorful bison statues. A smaller herd, for sure. Dispersed on the corners along the main drag. Not nearly as dangerous as the park’s bison. And begging to be photographed.

    So, while Mui went into the Dakotamart to pick up a couple of bottles of local South Dakota wines, I wandered along the streets to photograph some of my favorite statues. As a bonus, I found a couple of murals ... even if one of them was a “fake” one.

    It’s a good thing I photographed the colorful critters in town. We caught nary a glimpse of a tatanka when we later drove through the park to get to the campground.
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  • Day168

    Crazy Horse

    June 6, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Noch 100 Jahre.

    An Crazy Horse erinnert heute ein monumentales Denkmal, das Crazy Horse Memorial, das derzeit in South Dakota in einen Berg gehauen wird, ähnlich dem Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Korczak Ziolkowski begann die Skulptur im Jahre 1948, seine Frau und sieben seiner zehn Kinder führen das Vorhaben fort. Nach ihrer Fertigstellung wird sie 195 m hoch und 172 m breit sein.Read more

  • Day7

    Devil's Tower

    August 7, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 86 °F

    Yesterday, I rode through Alladin and stopped briefly at the General Store and Bar. The Store had loads of meat products, bullets, and antiques (mostly junk to me), while the tiny bar had this amazing old safe. Then it was on to Devil's Tower in Wyoming. I didn't stop for long though, just roadside to take some pics...which are on my 📷.

    A storm was rolling in, so I jumped in I-90 and beelined it back to camp. Just in time, too.

    After I cleaned up, I walked into town and spent the evening with a lovely group of people at a karaoke bar. What a blast!!

    I left camp at 09:00 heading for Custer State Park. I hit a couple of Harley dealerships on the way, and I'm now stopped for lunch at the park's lake.

    The scenery and roads are amazingly beautiful. I rode The Needles today, a super twisty road leading to the park, sort of. It was great fun when I could get clear of car and bike traffic. I hope the rest of the day is great as this morning.

    That's all for now. Don't forget to be awesome! ✌️

    Day 7 mileage: 176.8 (total 2149.6)
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  • Sep1

    3-Part Day Starts with the Wildlife Loop

    September 1, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    After two long days of sightseeing, we planned today as an easy day. A later departure from the campground ... an earlier return. Nonetheless, we managed to squeeze in three different places into our day before returning to the Cruiser.

    This footprint, part I of today’s story, covers another drive on the Wildlife Loop in Custer SP. We’ve determined that it is a good alternative to staying on US-16A to reach the SD-87 junction. It doesn’t add that much more distance or time, and seems like a less-curvy road with wide open vistas.

    As anticipated, the heat had driven the animals into the shade, so sightings were few. We saw the burros — not unexpected since they are used to being fed and always show up — and a couple of pronghorn antelopes.

    Then we got on the section of SD-87 that runs south through Custer SP and started seeing big piles of fresh dung all over the road. A sure sign that the bison were somewhere in the vicinity. Sure enough ... we rounded the curve in the road and there they were ... spread out on both sides of the road, but mostly on my side. Excellent! That was the direction in which the light was good!

    This is now the third time we’ve driven the wildlife loop. In every instance, we’ve found the bison herds elsewhere 😉

    P.S. On our way back through Custer SP later in the day, the only critters we saw were some bighorn sheep ... so well hidden in the shade of some trees that we almost drove by them. The dappled light provided them with perfect camouflage. Can’t say as I blamed them for seeking the shade ... it was so darned hot at that hour!
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  • Sep2

    Almost Locked Out On Our Day Off

    September 2, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    It got up to about 86F in Keystone and Custer today. Pretty darn hot. But not as hot as it was in Rapid City ... or the Badlands ... where it reached 96F. So, we postponed our sightseeing plans and stayed home today ... where it didn’t quite reach 80F.

    A nice patio to enjoy ... plenty of shade ... a light breeze. We’d taken the screen shelter down because of some strong winds that came through a few days ago. Glad we put it back up yesterday as it helped to keep out the worst of the black flies and bees that seem to be all over the Black Hills. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop a bee from stinging Mui today. Nothing serious, luckily.

    We did have a near-mishap when we almost got locked out of the Cruiser today. We were both outside. The A/C was running, so the door to the Cruiser was closed. When I went to go inside, the door would not open. Huh!?! Luckily we had a spare key in the CR-V and the car was unlocked! The main door would not unlock, but we were able to get inside through the cockpit doors.

    Don’t ask me how, but it turns out the latch bolt mechanism had somehow broken. We can’t get a replacement shipped here prior to our departure, so we will have to do without. The good news? The deadbolt on the door is still operational ... we’ll be OK to take the Cruiser on the road when we’re ready to return to Colorado.

    Just because we stayed home today doesn’t mean we didn’t see any wildlife. The white-tailed deer that frequent the campground came by to graze and check things out ... ❤️
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  • Aug29

    Quiet Morning to Plan Our Days

    August 29, 2020 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

    My concerns about the kids running about turned out to be for naught. Everything — including the boom boom of a loud bass, went quiet at the appointed time of 10:30p. Two thumbs up.

    It was 51F when we woke up this morning after a restful night of sleep. Breakfast indoors. Now, at 9:00a, it has warmed up nicely to 58F. Probably feels warmer in the sun, but we have plenty of shade where our site backs up to the trees ... no worries in that regard.

    Time to make use of our bug shelter ... a leftover from our full-timing days in the Phaeton. It’s seen better days so we’ll probably replace it next year ... with a smaller shade shelter that Mui won’t mind putting up even for short campground stays.

    After yesterday afternoon’s short but fairly stressful drive on narrow, curvy roads with some impressive hairpin turns, we’re taking it easy before we set off to do some sightseeing. A relaxing morning is perfect for planning out our stay here in the Black Hills.
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  • Day8

    Black Hills

    July 9, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Day seven: The first week is almost over and it was such a blast! Today we started with exploring our first national park - the Badlands. There you can feel the force of nature, it's amazing. Also we saw some wild animals like sheeps 🐑, prairie dogs 🐿 and - the best is comming at the end - two bisons 🐂🐂! Foxes live there as well but we didn't see them. But we heard them in the morning.
    After leaving Badlands we took a road off (what fun! 😈) to Rapid City. There we visited a trade fair for oldtimer. It was that nice! 🚗
    Back on the road we went to Mount Rushmore Memorial in Black Hills and afterwards to Hill City for eating something. We found a nice looking restaurant and chose it for rest. I tried a burger with buffalo meat and national beer from Black Hills. Both were very tasty! 🍔🍺
    When we was done we tried to find a campground and found one at Center Lake in Custer State Park.
    At the end of the day we got to know new campers sitting on the campfire, just hanging. But I was really tired so I fell asleep very quickly.

    Badlands National Park ✔
    Ride off-road ✔
    Seeing bisons ✔
    Eating buffalo meat ✔
    Seeing oldtimers ✔
    Mount Rushmore Memorial ✔
    Needle Hwy ✔
    Needles Eye ✔
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  • Day19

    Rock Face!

    September 18, 2016 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    Today I woke up in the Badlands. A unique experience for me to not see anyone when I set off on a hike, sleep in my tent, and then not see anyone on my return hike. The morning was crisp and clear, and I stayed warm all night. That meant the day was going to be hot.

    After repacking the bike from my overnight hike (which is not something that takes a few minutes like it might in a car. Everything has its place so to get things to fit, they all go back into their place.) I make my way towards Rapid City for lunch. On my way out I take the road to the south of the park (well the north eastern part of the park) and go between the two major halves of the park. This road is much less traveled, but absolutely gorgeous. I spot my first buffalo! It feels a bit strange to make it this far in life and not seen such iconic animals.

    Before reaching the city I stop for gas, some regular maintenance on my chain, and check the oil. I notice a little stretch in the chain so I will have to tighten it up. The oil is also going to need a top off in the next few days. This engine design consumes oil as part of its design, so occasional additions of oil is not abnormal.

    After lunch I make my way to Mount Rushmore! Another piece of childhood legend which has stuck with me till today. Wow, what a project for someone to undertake. You really have to measure twice, and set your dynamite off once. Deterred from entering the monument by a parking fee, I stop along the roadside at pull outs which grant fine views of the sculpture. I am amazed at the setting of such a piece of art. It doesn't get more public and permanent than making your art in the side of a mountain.

    Just down the road is the Crazy Horse monument. What an incredible time to see such an undertaking. I hope to see it completed in my lifetime, but the progress may slow at times as the project is privately funded. The scale of this sculpture is even grander than Rushmore. It's actually larger than any of the great pyramids. It was interesting to learn about the progression of the project and to see how it began. Native American elders asked this sculptor who lived in Boston to move South Dakota and build this monument. The gentleman they asked happened to be the perfect guy for the job. I wonder if he was the first one they asked? Not only did the sculptor take the job, he funded the project himself. He and his family of 10 children (who weren't around before construction began) were critical in creating this monument.

    Crazy Horse was definitely something to experience. After walking around the museum a bit, I got back on my pony and headed south to find a place to set up camp. My plan is to explore Wind Cave National park tomorrow, so I saw a camp in the park. It will be perfect for getting an early start tomorrow.

    I was planning on flying back to Boston for Matt and Genevieve's wedding out of Salt Lake city, but seeing as I have 16 nights left before the flight and I am already almost into Wyoming, I changed my flight to leave Seattle. This may increase my chances of getting through the coldest part of the trip by almost two weeks, which could make a significant difference. That means that I could be in the Tetons in two days! Yeehaw!

    Pictures: Sunrise and moonset. A sign I saw on the way in but decided it was picture worthy after I finished the hike. The next one explains itself. I felt pretty Merican standing below Rushmore having ridden in on a motorcycle. Crazy Horse is the next 3. What it looks like today, then the progression over the years, and then a 1/35 scale version.
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  • Day20

    Wind Cave and Strange Sounds

    September 19, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    After seeing amazing carvings in mountains it was time to find a place to sleep. I noticed on the map that there was another national park just south of my location and there was a fairly inexpensive campsite with wood! I got to the site, set up camp, and had a nice fire. Throughout the evening I kept hearing this strange noise. It's hard to describe, but I've never heard it before. At first I thought it was some kids playing with a weird toy, but the sound lasted into the night and started coming from the woods. I figured it was probably an animal, which I found out the next morning that it was indeed a bunch of elk. Apparently it is rutting season. After breaking camp I headed to the cave for a tour. They call it wind cave because it is usually at a different pressure then atmospheric pressure, so the few small natural openings into the cave exhibit a significant breeze. The man-made entrance to the cave has an airlock to preserve this natural pressure difference. This cave apparently has 95% of the world's "box work" which is a natural feature developed by carbonic acid dissolving limestone. The cave was cool, but I had my sights set on the Tetons, a day and a half's drive away.

    Photos: Sunrise at Elk Mountain campground. A good example of box work. The next two are more cave photos.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Custer County, مقاطعة كستر, Къстър, কাস্টার কাউন্টি, Condado de Custer, Custer konderria, شهرستان کاستر، داکوتای جنوبی, Comté de Custer, Custer megye, Քաստեր շրջան, Contea di Custer, カスター郡, Custer Kūn, Hrabstwo Custer, کسٹر کاؤنٹی, Comitatul Custer, Кастер, Округ Кастер, کیسٹر کاؤنٹی، جنوبی ڈکوٹا, Quận Custer, Condado han Custer, 卡斯特縣