06/11/2014 Betsy

ACROSS THE RANGE TO BUFFALO WY JUNE 10, 2014   We left Spearfish and entered Wyoming within the hour.  The terrain continued to be rolling Black Hills.   The vastness of the range was breathtaking. We stopped at the Welcome Center outside of Gillette and picked up information for Devil’s Tower National Monument.  This is where Custer gathered his one thousand troops and started his expedition into the Black Hills looking for gold. Decided to take the scenic route to the Monument winding through small towns with  populations of 250 to 500 people.   As we approached the area we could…

06/09/2014 Betsy

CUSTER – SPEARFISH SD 6/8/2014   The drive from Custer to Spearfish through Rapid City is about sixty miles.  Since it was raining, I can’t say if it was spectacular or not!  We got into Chris’ Campground around 2:30 and immediately made our way over to the laundry to get some clothes washed.  This is a beautiful campground nestled in the valley among the northern black hills at the beginning of the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Bypass.  We are sitting at an elevation of 3,640’.  We are slowly getting acclimated to the elevation but have a ways to go to Yellowstone….

06/08/2014 Betsy

WILD HORSE SANCTUARY IRAM – Institute of Range and American Mustang   IMAGINE…11,000 acres of open range as far as you can see in any direction.  This land looks like it did 300 years ago with the Cheyenne River flowing through and rocky canyon walls bracketing prairies and open range.   This is the home for adoptable and unwanted  wild horses where they can roam free, live and die as they were born to do. Oregon rancher, Dayton O. Hyde, is a naturalist, photographer, author and rancher with a heart for the horses.  After passing government-sponsored holding facility with hundreds…

06/08/2014 Betsy

Final Drive Around June 7, 2014   Woke up to rain and temperatures in the 40’s.  Not a great hiking day but not a terrible drive around day.  We hung around the MH until noon when the rain starting to clear off but the skies were laden with heavy clouds and the temperature didn’t get much warmer. Today we are going to check out Wind Cave National Park just south of Custer State Park.    Dave wasn’t interested in doing a cave tour so we decided to take a drive around the park.  Wind Cave is the sixth longest cave…

06/07/2014 Betsy

CUSTER, SOUTH DAKOTA Where are you going now? Tonight we decided to take dinner in town.  Ate at the Sage Creek Grill for a great dinner. The chef is from the southwest so their cuisine was geared to those flavors.  I had Tamal which was a mea stuffed corn husk filled with marinated pork and vegetables over seasoned black beans.  Dave had baked Walleye.  It was wonderful.  This high altitude and lack of humidity has made me very thirsty.  I downed my first beer in about four gulps!  Moved onto the second one a little slower…

06/07/2014 Betsy

CUSTER STATE PARK June 5, 2014   After a quick lunch and an even quicker walk for Billy since we were taking him to Custer State Park, we hopped back in the car and headed over.  We are only about 5 miles from the entrance to the park. Custer SP features 71,000 acres of rolling prairie, pine-studed mountains and granite spires reaching for the sky.   Sylvan Lake Upon entering the park we passed Sylvan Lake which is absolutely beautiful. We started on the Needles Highway, a 14 mile road through pine and spruce forests, meadows…

06/07/2014 Betsy

CUSTER, SD June 4, 2014   Settled in at the Big Pine Campground.  Ron and Angie Blank couldn’t have been more helpful.   Ron escorted us up to our site and pointed out that the land surrounding the campground is national forest so if we wanted to take Billy over there and run it, it was OK with them. We needed to replace a tire on the tow dolly.  Dave had bought a new one as a spare but we had that put on the tow dolly somewhere around Chamberlain so now we needed to get another new tire for the…

06/07/2014 Betsy

BACK TO CUSTER SP June 6, 2014   Woke up this morning to 45 degrees and overcast skies.  The weather prediction had come true.  It was cold, windy and probably going to be rainy!!!!  Decided to drive the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park to see what animals were down from the mountains. Morning Grazing This is an 18 mile loop through open grasslands and pine-speckled hills where much of the wildlife call home. We have been listening to an FM radio station 90.1 out of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It is a very interesting…