Saying good-by to Devils Tower National Monument, we pointed the motorhome back east by the way of Spearfish to the Rapid City.
The Aspen, in their finest tradition, treated us to their fall display. Yellows and browns seem to be the only fall colors here. I do miss the red shades of Brown County and central Indiana.
According to our Blue Sky solar collection display,we had been losing power. Our hope was that the solution would be as simple as one of the four batteries having a dead cell.
In Rapid City, a check of the batteries revealed what we had hoped for. A quick change of battery, which was under warranty, provided us with a full charge once again.
Kris and Bill Osborne, of Seeing the USA had recommended Heartland R.V. Park in Hermosa, SD as a place to stay. We reserved a week in order to complete our planned tours of the area.
We had full hook-ups and I was able to complete a ton of laundry and the long hot showers without being concerned about using the water from our tank.
Our first objective was the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. I had read about this event and had been planning to attend for months!
We left the motorhome before daylight, at six-thirty in the morning. What would have been a thirty minute drive on a normal day took us until eight-thirty! The line of traffic moved at a snail's pace once we were on the road to the viewing site.
There were two viewing sites and we chose the north site for no apparent reason, but were pleased when we compared the north viewing area to the southern. Each area has it's advantages. We were pleased with our location. You can see the southern area off in the distance.
|The southern viewing site|
The anticipation was high as we waited for the Bison to appear over the crest of the hill toward the pasture directly in front and below us. We waited, and waited, and waited some more. Did I say that we waited a long time? The Buffalo were about thirty minutes late.
At first they were organized, then each buffalo decided it wanted to go his or her own way! The Buffalo were co come down the foothills, cross the road and through the two gates that are right behind the trees in the photograph.
The gates are closed once the Buffalo, riders on horseback and those in trucks are through.
The animals are allowed to rest for a short while. The weather was much warmer than usual and the heat is hard on these huge animals.
The roundup continued and the Buffalo were pointed toward their final destination, corrals located out of sight, to our right.
Three of those stragglers break loose from the herd and head off toward the gates! Of course the gates are closed, so they continue their escape to our left. These three put on a show for the audience. They were quicker and more determined than the riders.
Finally, they let the three upstarts be rather than to continue to chase them in the heat, putting the Bison and the horses in heat stress. Wise decision.
The herd is cut from fourteen hundred to a manageable nine hundred for the winter. Five hundred will be sold at auction. Some may go to Indiana as they have in the past. All animals will undergo a health check, pregnancy testing, and receive their annual vaccinations.
By the end of September 2015, the herd will be back to the fourteen hundred.
There were shuttles to take visitors to the corrals, but we chose to return another day when it would be less crowded.
Our return to the campground was again bumper to bumper and at a snail's pace for an hour. And that was after waiting in the parking area for over an hour! All in all, it was a long day. Would we do it again? You betcha!
Thanks for stopping by to read of our experiences on the roads and bi ways of North America.
God bless each of you as you journey through life.
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