For my first Most Excellent Adventure (MEA) post, I chose to highlight some of the critters we saw in various places throughout our trip. I may may include other critter photos when I do some of the location specific posts, but really wanted to put as many together in one post as possible…..cause we saw TONS of them and I’d like the location specific posts to be more focused on the beauty and fun aspects of each location……and, cause I really, really got excited about seeing all the different animals – some in the wild right there with no barriers – some in more controlled areas.
So, here we go:
We were on our way to the Badlands and Custer State Park and this attraction caught our eye. We thought it might be a nice little side trip – a quickie addition to our day! So, we made an impromptu stop…….and, man, were we glad we did!!! This place was FANTASTIC!!! It was about an hour and a half drive through their park with animals everywhere – some were able to get in the roadway and come up to the cars and some were behind fences so they couldn’t get close to the visitors, but ALL were out in their natural habitats and roaming around free – not caged! Then, there was a walking tour that took us by smaller habitat areas with smaller animals. Our little “quickie” side trip kept us entertained and happy for over two hours!!!
This cute bear with his fish greeted us at the entrance
I got a kick out of this tour bus, too……”Get In, Sit Down, and Hang On!” hehehe
There were wolves wandering all around this area. This one was on the road ahead of us and stopped, looked at us for a while, and headed our way…..
…..and right up to the driver’s side window to check us out! 🙂
Brown Bear playing with a tree
I stood and watched several of these cuties for the longest time – they were so funny to watch!
They were so playful and fun to watch!
Custer State Park is another fantastic place — I will devote a separate post just to this amazing park. It is so beautiful, over all, but it also has a “Wild Life Loop” where you can find bison, wild turkeys, wild donkeys, and other animals roaming free as you drive through – just incredible! Each year at the end of September (we were too early to witness this), they have a Bison Round Up where cowboys on horses herd all the bison into corals where they tag them, check them out, and separate any old or ill ones out to sell – this helps keep the herds within controllable numbers and ensures the old, weak, or ill ones are not left to just die. I would have loved to see that, but we were just a tad too early for it! Here is a sampling of the critters we saw in Custer State Park:
The Badlands is another location that deserves its own specific post and will definitely get one. But, we did see a few bison, LOTS of prairie dogs, and some other critters worth sharing here:
We parked and waited quite a while to get him to turn around for a better picture, but he did finally lift his head enough to be able to see how huge his horns were!
This is an area with a high concentration of prairie dog mounds – there were zillions of them as far as the eye could see! And, they were a riot to watch!
That’s all for now……more MEA photos and stories later! 🙂