Tuesday, June 14, 2011

'Lo There

Piedmont, SD

So a buffalo herd walked around me while I was riding the motorcycle through Custer park today.  I didn't have the guts to get off the bike and get out my real camera, so I took a few with the Droid (they're at the end of the post).  In the last picture, I was actually in front of the car at first, but backed up to get behind him when one of the buffalo started walking straight at me down the middle of the road.  It was absolutely frightening to be in that situation, but kinda awesome in retrospect.

There were probably about 40 buffalo near the road, and another 20 or 30 out in a field that I saw a little farther down.  Quite a few of them were pretty young too - maybe 12 of the 40 I saw on the road.

But I got the last laugh anyway. I had buffalo steak for dinner.

So I ended up running into the buffalo herd today because I rode through the black hills - and let me tell you, I can see why they have a motorcycle rally around here.  Riding 16A through the black hills was absolutely stunning.  Here's an idea of what this road was like: at one point it felt like I was going way too fast and I wasn't comfortable with it - and I looked down, and I was going 25mph.  It never felt like I was going slow,  but there's so many turns, you can't go faster than 25 in many parts, and on some of the turns, 15mph feels fast.  Here's the route I took through the mountains - you can see just from how it looks what kind of road it is.

On my way to that road (which was recommended to me by the guy who owned the campsite I stayed at last night), I stopped at Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse.  I didn't pay to get in to Mt. Rushmore. ($11 for a parking spot for half an hour? No thanks.)  I may have still gotten some pictures though... ask me how if you want to know the story.  I did pay to see Crazy Horse ($5), but I shouldn't have - you don't get a much better view than you would from the road, you just get to see the museum - which I wasn't all that interested in.  So out of the two experiences, the one I didn't pay for was far better.  I think I'll stick with doing that as much as possible from now on.

So now I'm couchsurfing with the person I tried to stay with last night, along with a guy from Germany, a girl from Denmark, a guy from Russia with a mohawk that's blue on top and neon yellow on the back, and a girl from Minnesota, as well as our host, who grew up in South Carolina.  Oh, and "Ed" left earlier - mostly a stereotypical biker dude, scratch voice, huge blond beard, obviously dyed blond hair, and big gut underneath his Harley shirt.  He informed us that he was running for president before he left.  Carrie (our host) made buffalo steak, garlic cheese mashed potatoes, green beans, and a carrot/onion/squash dish for dinner.  It was absolutely amazing, and it has been an interesting night hearing stories, but it's about time for bed I think.


  1. I definitely want to hear your stories! Those buffalo are always fun to see up close, until they're heading straight for you! Glad you're doing well and having fun, and can't wait to hear your next adventures! Miss you! :)

  2. Baby bison (okay, calves, whatever) are the cutest animals in real life. Or maybe I'm weird. And way to not support the national parks...:-P