Custer State Park, Needles Highway, and Hill City 1880 Train Ride
One of the things the grands enjoyed most about our road trip was the numerous animals we saw. It is amazing how many different varieties of birds there were! Plus, watching the prairie dogs was thoroughly entertaining. We saw elk, mountain goats, several varieties of deer, a moose in Colorado, and of course the buffalo. One of our all time favorites was spending time with the Begging Burros in Custer Park.
|Believe it or not, there is a granddaughter inside that sleeping bag.|
Sleeping with Sophie is like sleeping with a mule!
|One of several prairie dog communities we saw in South Dakota|
|They built their mounds in the most unsafe areas! Sometimes|
in the middle of dirt roads. Crazy!!
|Maggie petting one of the begging burros!|
|The park rangers tell you not to feed the wild life. There are signs|
everywhere reminding you not to feed them. But, the behavior of these
animals indicated that most people don't follow the rules!
|The girls thought the burros were so funny!|
|They sure do make the burros in Texas look small. This guy was|
as big as Leslie's "not a van."
|I think I want one for the yellow house.|
|Our first herd of buffalo!|
|We didn't get very close to the herd, but that was fine with me!|
They are HUGE!
|Not quite sure what these were, but they were all over the place.|
|In the visitor's center at Custer Park.|
|This display would show you where the herds were located.|
|Ducks and geese were in several ponds in the area.|
|I guess this guy was one of the older ones from the herd.|
He was near the visitor's center.
|The passes through the mountains on Needles Highway were|
enough to scare the poo out of you!
|The road twisted and turned through these granite spires!|
|Some of them were breathtakingly tall|
|We took a few short stops along the highway so the|
kids could get the wiggles out and let the waves of
car sickness pass!
|I think the girls were loving the chance to climb the rocks.|
|And yet another tiny pass.|
|Ordering a Hobo meal...|
|Maggie and Sophie waiting for the train...|
|The water tank that fills the steam engine...|
|One of the cars on the train...|
|The gift shop in Hill City|
|Leslie and Maggie in front of Scott and Sophie|
|My seat buddy, Seth|
|We had a loaded train on the way out!|
|One of many abandoned mining communities...|
|An original mine entrance...|
|Our engine being refuel in Keystone for the return trip|
|Scott, Leslie, Maggie, and Sophie doing some shopping...|
|One of the local characters cracking a bull whip|
while walking up and down the center of traffic...
|Seth and his I Survived the Needles Highway shirt...|
|Another train pulling into the station...|
|The ride back was much more enjoyable because the|
train was less crowded and the temperatures had cooled off.
|Sophie and her bear backpack!|
By the time we got back to town, we were pretty tired from a full day. We topped it off with an over priced meal and a "Bavarian" restaurant and dessert by the campfire with toasted marshmallows.