Amongst the ever present gaze of the collective Presidential stare on the mount, lies a territory with vast foliage, mountains, and wildlife.  Mostly, I wanted to see a buffalo, and Rob wanted to drive up really small roads and through very narrow tunnels, straight into Custer State Park, right next to Mt Rushmore.

The park, as you can surmise, is named after General George Custer of the “Custer’s Last Stand” fame.  For those who may not know the story, this will help.

Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the park is a natural wildlife preserve, and, therefore, the perfect place for me to finally see a buffalo up close and personal.  It is worrisome to me that the only Buffalo with which I am acquainted is a place where I used to go clubbing* in my university years.

We drove for some time, and finally, I saw what I had come for.  A lone, sleepy buffalo lay in a patch of grass.  He was docile, unaware, and very un-entertaining.  I had waited all this time to see one of these great creatures, and this was a big disappointment.   Imagine cows, but with fur around their heads, and a more vacant look in their eyes.  That’s the mighty buffalo.  Well, at least the scenery was nice.

But nature never disappoints for long. Another five mintues of driving and we noticed the cars ahead of us all stopped.  And then, for everyone to see, was a herd of a hundred or more buffalo(e)s, charging down the path, seemingly obvilious to our presence. 

Truly, an awesome sight.  One can only imagine what the original explorers of the west first thought when they saw millions of them freely roaming across a vast open plain.  Umm…probably the same thing I did when I saw them earlier that day: Yea! Dinner!!!  And wouldn’t you know it, buffalo is now available in hotdog form!  That’s progress. Progress deliciously topped with some relish and a sweet pickle! 

*Back in the day, when crossing the border was about going to a club in Buffalo, NY because they accepted Canadian money at par.  And they were open until 3am.