LONG DAY IN CUSTER STATE PARK
48 degrees clear blue sky
walk around lake
We take another early morning drive around park
and I think I find hike
THEN!!!! WE SEE….
a buffalo fighting with prong horn and a prairie dog taking pictures!
We finally find a good hike
down a canyon. At the bottom we find a very swollen river that has obliterated the trail. I decide to bushwhack along the river and up over some rocky outcrops. No worry of rattlesnakes in this chilly weather. It was a lot of scrambling for a group of out of shapers…. Mica and Nickel kept the lead.
at the end of the hike… back up at the topwe met a woman visiting South Dakota. She was from New York and told me the story of loosing her house to Hurricane Sandy. She was here visiting a friend and said she had learned a lot in the last year. She took this picture for us.
We spent the rest of the day investigating various roads in the park. We found another national forest entrance that was … you guessed it… closed Since Mica and Nickel were still full of steam, I let them run with the car for a while. I took frequent stops to gather wood for a fire.
It was a very long day and I looked forward to a cozy fire and a hot meal. Unfortunately, upon returning to the campsite I found a piece of paper on the picnic table stating that I was in a closed campground and to leave IMMEDIATELY. You can’t imagine my disappointment. It took me over an hour to tear down the camp and I still had to find a new site before dark. All the poodles were crashed and very displeased at my shooshing them out of the tent. They all laid in the dirt watching me take down the tent, wondering what was going on.
Once again we hit the road to explore some side roads outside the park.
With the evening approaching I managed to find a gravel road off the main road to Custer City (a city of 1300 people). It actually turned out to be a great spot. I didn’t want to travel too far down the road since it turned into muddy mire and, once again, I expected rain. I don’t know where they found it, but the Poodles got a second wind and while I set up for the night they chased squirrels and investigated a nearby brush pile.
By the time we finished a quick dinner darkness embraced us. I stayed up for a while organizing photos but the Poodles fell fast to sleep. Around midnight I woke up and saw there was a heavy layer of wet snow on the windshield. What a surprise! By morning most had melted off but the poodles enjoyed the crisp 30 degree air and slushy snow beneath their feet.