Here is a Bison Road Hazard!!!Hundreds of them!!
July 18,Saturday, After hanging out around the camp this morning, we left at noon for the Custer Park Loop Drive. Carol packed a lunch and ice chest for a roadside picnic later. Driving down the road a short distance we entered the Park crossing many open rail bridges at the fences, I am told this is to keep the animals from leaving the areas. First thing we run into was a herd of mules & their colts.They used to be pack mules for hikers. They walked right out in front of us looking for food. They even poked their heads into the window and into a open convertible...fun..fun...click..click.
Then down the road we stop to enter the park, a $15.00 window sticker is required, good for a week. We follow the wildlife drive thru the park. Around the curve we see Bisons grazing in a park rest stop. Several are here, the ranger volunteer tells us we can stay on the water bridge but no further. He is carrying a bull whip to push them back if needed. We see them rubbing their back along side a tree..snorting loudly..grazing, feeding their calves, and just moving slowly across the park. The volunteer tells us he is from Alabama and comes here every year to volunteer in the park. He works 3 days and gets 4 days off, he loves it and it gets him out of the HOT south!! His wife works in the ranger info station.
We chat with 2 Motorcycle travelers, they are going to Sturgis,S.D. for the biker rally. They are from Illinois and make this trip each year. They tell us to go down the road and there is a herd of Bison, at least 200 strong. Off we go...WOW... there they are . Traffic is tied up both ways. The Bison are all over the road ..click..click..people are hanging out the windows to take pictures. It takes us at least 45 minutes to get thru the traffic jam. Then off to the grand open prarie winding roads up and down tru the hills..click.click.. Beautiful!!! We even see Antelope again!! The prarie drive is nice but a little boring if you don't see animals.
Then we arrive at the beginning of Needles Highway, what a difference, winding thru pine trees then into rock formations. Every turn out has a new look, we pull off at some and click,click. I take a picture of a couple from Wilkes Barre,Pa. what do you know they have an Airstream motorhome and pull a motorcycle trailer for touring. At the next turn out people are looking UP!! Way up the needles rocks are rock climbers yelling at each other instructions, we count 5 on the sides of the rocks. We even get out the binocculars to see them close...thats not for me?? Too High!! Then thru some more rock tunnels, I don't know how the motorhomes get thru, they must suck it in..mirrors and all. It was tight for the van. Then we arrive at the Needle Rock, lots of people taking pictures...Darn Tourists!! Everyone must have a digital camera because we all take numerous shots. The Needles Highway is one beautiful drive , but take your time ,lots of curves and outlooks . 20 miles takes us 3 hours to cover.
After a brief rest at the camp, we leave again for the night light show at Mt.Rushmore. More curves up and down and switch backs 1/2 hour to do 7 miles. We arrive to lots of people already sitting in the stone arena(at the base of Mt.Rushmore) with a stage down front. We are greeted by a Ranger with a 10 minute quiz then a history lesson then a 20 minute movie which ends with all of us singing "The National Anthem". Then the Ranger asks that all Veterans come down to the stage. At least 100 come down, a small boy even carries a big picture of his daddy(who is in Irag) onto the stage. We all clapped for the Veterans...Then the Ranger takes his microphone to each and everyone for them to say their name and branch of service, what an awesome Tribute to All Veterans....Standing Ovation to All....
Back to Camp..zzzz...morning comes..Sunday already..We have to move our site is reserved. So we pack up the airstream,electric and water hose thrown on the back bumper. I pull out to the left ..stop...back up past 3 spaces and into the 4th...#45 down to #41..My shortest move yet?? I unhook and plug in electric,water, level the rig. Carol starts breakfast of sausage and eggs.. we move in less than 15 minutes... It is Hot here already at 9 am the Air is on!! Camping is rough ain't it? Well we will relax for the day then tomorrow tear down again and head for Cheyene, Wyoming..This week is Cheyene Days..Lots of Cowboys and parades....I love Parades ...Don't You? See Ya and God Bless...AirstreamHobo & Carol