Talk about being near the road, this big fellow thought it was the perfect place to sit and watch the humans go by. We were almost to the Wild Animal Loop when we spotted a big herd of buffalo off to our right. So we took that road and got to watch the bison in their daily activities.
Mom and Baby Burro
Back on the Wild Animal Loop we did see several species of animals. From prairie dogs, pronghorns (aka antelope), more bison, and the really traffic stoppers......the Burros! They are not native to the Black Hills. They were first used to transport people to the lodges in the area. After the invention of the automobile, the burros were turned loose in the park. These are descendents living here today.
People would feed them, although it is illegal according to the Park Regulations. They were so tame, one could pet them. In fact they would come up to your car windows. Amye said if one left the car door open, the burro would probably get into the car. I saw one follow a man to his van, and while the man was trying to get something from the van, the burro was pulling at his T-shirt. The best photo was when a baby decided to have lunch in the middle of the road! Cars were literally at a stand-still.
We had our lunch along the roadside before heading to Mount Rushmore. Do you want to drive a mountainous road with switchbacks (10 mph warning signs), three narrow one lane tunnels, and a section called the "Pig Tail"? Then drive Rt. 16A between Custer State Park and Rt. 244 going to Mount Rushmore! Almost better than a roller coaster!
If you look closely at the picture of Mount Rushmore, you will see two tiny figures standing on President Roosevelt's head. Don't know what was going on, but there was a rope from the top of his head to the ground below. We saw one guy climb up the President's face. This is a great Memorial to four great Presidents.
And so, another great day comes to an end. On to the Badlands tomorrow.