Monday, October 1, 2012

Playing Tourist in South Dakota

This morning we dropped the RV off to be repaired. I was sad to leave it because it's my home now.  They tell us it will be ready to go on Friday so keep your fingers crossed for us.  We are more than ready to be on our way.  

We are in a very nice extended stay hotel with suites, so we have a kitchen and a separate bedroom.  Since we are here out of season the rates are unbelievably low. They even let us check in at 9 am so we could get all of our stuff out of the truck.  

After we unloaded our things and got settled we decided to go and see the Crazy Horse Monument.  

Rob and I had been there seven or eight years ago and except for all of the new tourist buildings it looks exactly as I remember it.  Unfortunately, now you have to pay $10 per head to enter.  

We took a couple of photos and were on our way.  On our way out of the area, we stumbled upon Custer State Park.  What a gem!  We were a bit taken aback when they asked us for a $15 entrance fee but after an afternoon in the park, it was well worth it.  

The first stop was Sylvan Lake.  There is a trail around the lake so we went for a short walk to take some photos.
This is a beautiful lake with some very interesting rock formations in and around it. 

Next we drove Needles Highway.  I'll show you why they call it Needles in a minute.   There are 6 tunnels in the park.  Tunnel #5 is 8 feet 4 inches wide. 

Our truck is exactly 8 feet wide.  Can you see the tunnel?  It looks like the eye of a needle.  We drove through ever so carefully and managed to make it.  I never want to do that again.  Tunnel #6 was next.  #6 is exactly 9 feet wide.  "Piece of cake" says Rob.

The fall colors were absolutely beautiful against the blue sky.  
We traveled on Wildlife Loop Road toward "Prairie Dog Town" which sounded fascinating to me.  Guess what?  Prairie Dogs, tons of them.  One particular prairie dog was well, prairie-dogging right near the road and causing a prairie-dog jam.  The vehicle in front of us was tossing out pretzels and this little ham was very photogenic.  When the pretzel tossers left, I offered goldfish crackers.  The little prairie diva loved them!  
Clearly she's had a very profitable tourist season.  

As we continued on there was a donkey or a mule or well, I'm not sure what she was so I looked it up. 

According to;
"Here are the definitions according to the Mule Barn:
  • Mule: A domesticated, hybrid animal that results from crossing a mare (female horse) and a jack (male donkey).
  • Donkey: A domesticated ass.
Which, of course, begs the question "What is an ass?" Thankfully, Mule Barn also provides a definition of this particular animal.
  • Ass: A four-footed, hoofed mammal related to the horse, but smaller, with longer ears and a shorter mane, shorter hair on the tail, and a dark stripe along the back.
So, it seems the aforementioned jackass is simply a male ass. The main difference between the jackass and the donkey is their domestication -- the ass is wild; the donkey is domesticated. But what about the burro? Turns out that the burro is a small donkey that is often used as a pack animal because it is particularly sure-footed"

According to Yahoo, the animal we saw was an ass.  I should note that the booklet given out by the park called her a burro.  She was well versed at begging treats from car windows.  She stood in the middle of the road and ran from car window to car window taking treats from anyone who offered them.  

We also saw some Big Horn Sheep lounging around a building that was closed for the season.  

Now wasn't this post better than those earlier ones about crushed trucks and holes in RV roofs?

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