Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Black Hills, Part II

When we got to Custer State Park the weather turned really cool. We all ended up wearing long sleeves and hoodies and jackets. Also, it rained buckets while we were in the park. Not constant rain, but long periods of very heavy rainfall broken by overcast skies that merely threatened to cut loose.

The area is quite lush and I can understand why it supports such a large array of big animals. I really do want to go back and hike into the back country to see if I can spot a mountain lion.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the infrastructure of the park is excellent. The roads are well maintained. All of the campgrounds are very well equipped with flat parking areas, widely spaced, and possessing great bath facilities. The campground we used even had a music hall with a bluegrass band performing while we were there.

For one entire day we spent the hours exploring the park mainly by road, but taking time for short walking excursions and a couple of hikes. Our focus for the day was mainly to relax and then to hit the Mount Rushmore National Monument which Carole has always wanted to see.

Once again, I need to express that there are megafauna in the Black Hills. Here we passed some Bighorn sheep along the road.

We got a big kick out of watching the Prairie dogs in South Dakota!

I took this one at a parking area for a high lookout tower.

This range is named The Needles for obvious reason.

Rock and forest at high elevation.

Although called The Black "Hills", these mountains are higher than anything in the East by roughly 600 feet.

Sylvan Lake. This was a particularly beautiful spot where took a decent hike. There's a campground adjacent to the lake where I would love to stay.

I cautiously walk beneath huge chockstones along the trail.

Andy standing on the dam that creates Sylvan Lake.

Then we arrived at Mount discover it completely hidden by thick, low rain clouds.
To be continued...

No comments: