Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Custer State Park part 2

Friday September 16, 2011
Broken Arrow Campground
Custer, South Dakota


After we left the Bride and Groom
to their wedding at Sylvan Lake,
we went on down the Needles Road.


It is a great road to drive and I
wondered  if those who designed it all
had motorcycles or convertibles.
It was completed in
(can you believe it???)


Here’s the tunnel at the formation
for which the road is named.


Driving the Custer Loop 104


One way tunnels, better toot your horn.

Driving the Custer Loop 108



Driving the Custer Loop 117


On the right, just before this tunnel, is the needle’s eye.
We were standing right beneath it so it wasn’t
possible to show how tall it was.  But you sure
would have to have a very LARGE thread to
go into this needle’s eye.


Driving the Custer Loop 113


Out the other side of the tunnel…….
the Black Hills of South Dakota


Driving the Custer Loop 118


and the formations known as the
Cathedral Spires


Driving the Custer Loop 138


And more narrow tunnels


Driving the Custer Loop 144


Nine feet wide?  Really???

Driving the Custer Loop 145


The Needles Highway was amazing.
At its end we went over to the Center Lake Area
to see the Lake and campground there.


On the way we passed by the Black Hills Playhouse
which is closed for the season not just the day.
Wish we had been here to attend.
That’s the thing during the summer,
if you want to avoid the crowds, that’s not the
time to come to parks
but if you want to take the cave tours,
see the ranger programs, attend the playhouse
you must come then.


Driving the Custer Loop 146


We passed the playhouse, came around a curve
and here’s what we saw out the window.
(That’s our blue $15 pass stuck to the window)


Driving the Custer Loop 149


Needless to say, he was close enough
for me to get a close up photo.

Driving the Custer Loop 150


And then as we drove by the picnic area on
the way to the campground….




Driving the Custer Loop 156


We drove on into the campground and guess
who had moved into Site #3??
He looked about as big as the trailer in site #4
behind him.

Driving the Custer Loop 158




I really liked this little campground and some of
the sites were big enough for Winnona.
David was loving this combination camped in site

Driving the Custer Loop 162


At that point, we started off on our final escapade
of the day, to drive the Wildlife Loop.
We figured we’d seen the buffalo already but who
else might we run into on this 18 mile road through
open grasslands and pine-speckled hills.  It was
late afternoon by then so we thought we might
have a good chance since we would be there at dusk.


And sure enough, the hole herd showed up
to stop traffic.


Driving the Custer Loop 179

Driving the Custer Loop 174


The bison got themselves across the road
and we drove on.



And then there were the wild burros.


Driving the Custer Loop 193


Now I know all the literature says do not
approach wild animals but burros really are different.



We had adopted two burros from The Fund for Animals
when they were looking to get homes for those who
might otherwise be shot in Death Valley years ago.
And they were wild and wonderful!
GREAT personalities and very independent!!

So David is off to see the burros and I’m
stuck in the car.  :-(


Driving the Custer Loop 199


We really loved seeing these distant relatives
of our Fred and Ginger!

Our Ginger was Brown just like this mama
and our Freddy was black  just like this colt.




And they knew I loved them and couldn’t
really get out to give them a pet
so…….they came to me as I sat in the car.




Driving the Custer Loop 215


Nose in the window time!
Sure wish I’d kept that carrot and
that apple I had for lunch.


Driving the Custer Loop 209


Since I had no food, I guess using my mirror
to scratch his face was second on the agenda.


Driving the Custer Loop 211


Driving the Custer Loop 214


When it got dark, they moved on
…….sort of………


Driving the Custer Loop 219


and so did we.


Driving the Custer Loop 223


Great day at Custer State Park!


  1. Highway Hiking at its best!!

    Those Bison are still stalking you two ;o))

    I'd rather miss a few attractions then be amongst the crowds!!

  2. I am in awe of the beauty in this country. How lucky are we to be able to travel and see things like this???

    You must admit, even with a broken ankle, this is the life! :)

  3. Fabulous pictures! Funny how our bison look like they forgot to put their pants on, LOL! Never understood why their fur is thick up top but scraggly or lacking on the bottom. Cheers! ~M

  4. Loved the mama burro and the baby...I love the wildlife loop drive, you never know what you are going to see!

  5. I loved the donkeys!! They were so cute and friendly!!

  6. That was nice of Fred and Ginger II to come to you since you couldn't go to them. What a couple of cutie pies!

  7. Well that wasn't actually Fred and Ginger. They were our burros on the farm in Virginia. But these two looked like them, were also wild and just as friendsly. :-)

  8. Great pictures. Our kids were really fascinated with those tunnels many years ago when we first visited the area. I have a video of a tour bus taking about ten minutes to squeeze through.

  9. Wow - that one burro looked EXACTLY like Ginger - maybe she reincarnated! And that was baby Fred - how cute is that!! Enjoyed this post.


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!