We hit the ground running…

Hwy Map YayAfter crossing 2/3s of the USA by air, we jumped into a rental car and cruised across the prairie en route to Wall Drug where we powered up with Texas-sized slices of homemade pies and sampled their house-made donuts.

Coffee was 5 cents, as advertized. And it was gooooood. Pies were truly fabulous. Donuts were $1.50 each (LOL) so they more than covered their lost income on the coffee. But here’s the kicker…they were cardamom cake donuts and worth every cent. We bought two more to eat for breakfast tomorrow when we head out to the horse stables for our break-of-dawn trail ride.

We purchased cowboy hats… Oh, YEAH! Then, we drove back across the prairie through a bona fide dust storm. We hacked up a couple of lungs but had enough oxygen to make it to Mount Rushmore.

At close of day…we only had a 12-mile trek to Custer State Park and the State Game Lodge within it where we are spending the night. Unfortunately, this 12-mile trek ended up taking over an hour due to the mountainous terrain, single-lane trestle bridges, single-lane tunnels, switch-back roads and fading light. It was a white-knuckle ride with Kathy chanting softly…“Don’t look right (which was a sheer cliff with no guard rail), focus left.”

Good navigator.

The moon rose full and luminous through the Ponderosa pines as we leveled onto less treacherous roadways, and I slowed down even more due to the wildlife warning signs. It was dusk. Lucky I did. We rounded a sharp bend and found ourselves side by side a female bison and her calf.

“B-b-b-b-buffalo,” said my navigator.

She got it right that time. An hour prior, she spotted another four-legged critter and shouted “Bison”. False alarm.

“Those long-legged big things are elk,” I said. Snicker, snicker.

We ate both for dinner at the State Game Lodge.

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