Monday, February 6, 2012

THE Trip, Riding Through Wind Cave National Park, Hot Springs, South Dakota

Copyright 2012, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

July 8, 2011.  We spent part of the day down in the cave at Wind Cave National Park, but, it is time to turn Big Butt towards Custer and our last evening in the Black Hills.  First though, we extend our time and visit here just a little bit more by riding around the prairie of the park and enjoying a leisurely ride back to Custer.

Now, Man knows this, and some of you may remember me mentioning it, I have this "thing" for prairie dogs.  Poor Man, every time I would find a colony of prairie dogs, I was taking photos, making him stop so I could do so.  Now, yes, I know that for ranchers and those that must make their living off the land, prairie dogs are considered a huge bother.  Yet, I still cannot help myself, I want more photos of them.

So, I was taking photos of prairie dogs:

And, of pretty weeds:

When I got a bit of a surprise.  I was concentrating on getting "the shot", had my head down, macro on, macro off, zoom, zoom some more.  And, I looked up and noticed I had a friend (and a couple of riders) sauntering by.  Now, I know that some of you will remember my close encounter with the bison at Yellowstone, I was not looking for a repeat of that experience, once WAS enough!  This big guy (well, I think it is a guy??) was just walking where ever his little (big) heart desired.  Like who is gonna stop him??  Not I!  Oh, this is the second time something like this happened, where I was minding my own business, my nose and Sony in the flowers, when a bison walked very near by.  These huge animals can be VERY quiet, and sneak up on you.

Back on the road again, the scenery is lovely, easy on the eyes, and for some reason we become enthralled with the clouds.

More poofy white clouds, nice rolling hills, deep green pines contrasting the prairie grasses, I ask, what is NOT to like here?

And much to my delight (not someone else's, eh??) another prairie dog colony, and yes, I got out of the truck in that heat (around 95 degrees) to take more photos of prairie dogs (there just is NO explaining some fascinations, is there?)

This guy is sending off a warning, Carol is here, Carol is here, and she has that stinkin Sony AGAIN!  Geeesh, lady, give us a break (Man needs one too).  Chatter, chatter, warning all his buddies underground to just stay there so maybe this nutso chick will go away!

OK, I got the hint, how bout a drive down a quiet back road:

As we approach Custer, one last photo of the clouds and the beautiful Black Hills.

When we got back to Tana we hooked up, first, getting stuck, but, of course.  I was driving this time, we filled in the holes and I ran Big Butt back hard, through those ruts and stopped in time to not hit Tana.  Actually, I got very close to the exact position we need for hooking up, which, made us very happy!

Next, Nebraska.  THE Trip is winding down, gonna be a hot finish though - -



Barbara Poole said...

Your last three photos are really nice, the show-off prairie dog, and simply lovely winding roads and those clouds shots. A nice sight to see on a winter's day.

Susan Clark said...

Love the bison. Absolutely love it. And his riders.

Carol said...

Thanks Barb, those clouds were so special.

Marti said...

I love your prairie dog pictures, especially the one sounding the alarm. I can just see that one photoshopped for Christmas with a little songbook in her hands. lol

Greta Koehl said...

Love that last picture especially ... I would take that road toward those clouds....

Carol said...

Thanks Susan, over at Reflection's Flora and Fauna I showed this same bison with 5 birds on his back.

Thanks Marti, I adore that idea of the song book. WOOT!

Thanks Greta, it is such a pretty area, and they brew up great thunderstorms! They can keep the hail, but the rolling thunder plays in my memory time and time again.

LindaRe said... refreshing.

irisheyes jennifer said...

Love the prairie dog showing off his belly while he sound the alarm. Perfect!!

Lisa Wallen Logsdon said...

Ooohhh YES, that shot of the alarmist prairie dog has my vote! But, oh those poofy white clouds on that crisp blue sky......sigh!

Sherry - Family Tree Writer said...

Awesome photos, Carol! You do a fantastic job! I've been 'riding' along with you, living vicariously!