Thursday, July 22, 2010
Custer State Park Wildlife Loop
We got the front and back of the Lazy Daze washed and polished yesterday, and last night decided to take a drive along the 17 mile Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park. We saw tons of deer, both white tail and mule deer, several pronghorns, prairie dogs, and then the fun stuff.
We had read about the “begging burros”, descendants of pack animals that used to take people and supplies up to Harney Peak, and were hoping to see them on our drive. We came upon a few off the road, and watched this guy trying to feed them. The burros weren’t the ones begging. He practically had to shove the food in their faces.
Then a short distance down the road, we got to see the beggars in action. Of course they caused quite a traffic jam.
These two were heading our way and we didn’t bring any carrots.
They weren’t shy about poking their heads in the car to be sure.
I was looking at the one in Jim’s window and turned my head to see one in mine. When he realized there was no food to be had, he took a little break from mooching to scratch an itch.
They were really cute, and the park does not forbid people from feeding them, as they do with all the other wild animals.
When we were finally able to get away, we encountered several other traffic jams due to all the bison in the road. The park is home to a herd of over 1,500 bison, many of which were completely oblivious to all the cars trying to get by them. It was actually a bit frightening at times, since they are so huge when you see them that close.
This picture is out of focus but we did get to see several of them playing or fighting, not sure which. The scary thing was when they were done they would run out into the road.
It was a beautiful drive through the park, and an entertaining way to spend a couple hours.