The first morning we were in South Dakota, we decided to visit Bear Country, USA. There was a wide assortment of animals that are native to the area. We absolutely loved the baby bear pit. They were so playful and CLUMSY! There is a nice gift shop with a small grill to get a light meal. The facility is well maintained and beautifully landscaped. It is a nice place to spend a few hours and I think the grandchildren enjoyed themselves. It is also the place were we learned that Sophie is a tight wad. She fell in love with a bear backpack but didn't want to part with the money to buy it. It took the girl about an hour to finally decide to buy it. She ended up convincing her mom to pay for part of it. That was just before Uncle Scott said, "I wonder if I'm going to have to go in and buy that back pack for Twitchy."
|Sophie and Maggie|
This plaque commemorates the founder of Bear Country, USA. Once again, I can't remember why he started it. Just google it for more information. Even without knowing the reason, the animals here are healthy and well cared for. I'm going to assume they are there because they would be unable to survive in their natural habitat. It will make it a little easier to accept their captivity.
|Maggie, Seth, and Sophie|
|Maggie, Sophie, and Seth|
After our trip to Bear Country, we needed to find a place to eat. We drove to Custer, South Dakota and ate at a cute restaurant called Sage Creek Grille. I had the most delicious buffalo burger! There were very few franchise restaurants or motels in the area. I think it had to have been a conscious decision made with the intent of keeping local merchants in business. Smart move, if you ask me.
Throughout the town there are custom painted buffalo statues. Each one of them was a work of art. We didn't do a lot of walking around, but I managed to get a photo of most of them.
|Our lunch stop.|