Thursday, June 09, 2016

(South Dakota) Wild Gravel Road Adventures

This evening we turned left out of the rv park onto this gravel road to see what we could see.  We took the truck because Duane hates riding the bike on gravel.  The row of mailboxes at the front of the road gave us two clues:  people live back here and the mail truck doesn't deliver down this road.  We were on the lookout for wildlife.

The first wildlife we encountered--free-range cow.

At first the road led past flat meadows surrounded by hills.

Then it started to climb then descend in a series of switchbacks that led up and down and around the hills.

Second wildlife sighting.  This cow kept reaching around as if to get something off her back that she couldn't quite reach.  Turns out that she had a branch under her tail.  Cows and horses will clamp down their tails if they feel something back there.  Duane walked toward her.  She stopped struggling and backed up, releasing herself.  Then she and her calf ambled across the road to join the herd.

One of the many u-turns

That's our road over there.

Fun on a paved road on the bike but scary on one lane in our big ol' duelly when the locals zip around the blind curves!

No cars, but this deer bounded across in front of us.

Rare shot of a turkey baby (on mom's right)

We thought these longhorns were pretty wild looking.

We saw these things running across the road.  I said "I wonder why he stopped in the middle of the road."  Duane said "I hope we don't squish it."  Then this prairie dog just disappeared.  Who knew prairie dogs made holes in the middle of the road!

This whole area is criss-crossed with gravel roads.  We kept driving and eventually ended up here in Custer State Park at the beginning of the wildlife loop.

Nice view in the evening sunlight.

After several days of rest and antibiotics, Brock and Leola are on the mend.  We are all riding the wildlife loop tomorrow.

Maybe this time we'll see some buffalo.

Louise and Duane

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