🎶Home home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day🎶
CUSTER STATE PARK, SOUTH DAKOTA
Custer State Park and Wildlife Preserve is in the Black Hills of Southwestern South Dakota. The Park is one of the top ten wildlife destinations in the United States. We saw bison, deer, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs, and a variety of birds.
MT. RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, SOUTH DAKOTA
A small section of the Black Hills National Forest is Mt. Rushmore. The memorial is a massive sculpture carved into the mountain. The carving was completed in 1941 under the direction of Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln.
SPEARFISH CANYON, SOUTH DAKOTA
Marilyn’s quilting friend, Darlene, was born and raised in South Dakota. She recommended we stay at Spearfish Canyon Lodge. We spent a day exploring Spearfish Canyon. The Canyon is in the northern hills of South Dakota. The 1,000 foot high limestone palisades are shades of brown, pink and gray.
Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming. The Depot Plaza features large painted boot sculptures depicting various themes. The Depot Museum is the central fixture of downtown Cheyenne. It is a railroad museum located inside the historic Union Pacific Railroad Depot. This Depot was built in 1886-1887. The exhibits tell the story of Cheyenne’s development and how the transcontinental railroad shaped this city.
Buffalo is a quaint western town nestled at the base of the Big Horn mountains. Downtown Buffalo is in the National Register of Historic Districts.
BUFFALO, WY TO TEN SLEEP, WY
The forty-seven-mile ride from Buffalo to Ten Sleep is also known as the Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway. The road passes through the Big Horn National Forest. The road crests at 9,666 feet at Powder River Pass.
TEN SLEEP, WYOMING
The town of Ten Sleep is “a little western town with a big western heart.” It is a ranching town with a population of 260. The Ten Sleep Rodeo is a well anticipated event held annually on the fourth of July.
Gillette calls itself the “Energy Capital of the Nation.” Wyoming has led the country in coal production since 1986. Wyoming companies mine 385 million tons, produce 39% of the nation’s coal and ship to thirty states. Coal is mined at the staggering rate of twelve tons a second.
BILLINGS, MONTANA – MOSS MANSION
The Moss Mansion was built by Preston Boyd Moss in 1903. Mr. Moss was an entrepreneur who influenced the culture of Billings. The home was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, designer of the original Waldorf Astoria and Plaza Hotel. The architecture, craftsmanship, and exquisite decor is a treat to see.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK, NORTH DAKOTA
The Park is divided into three geographical areas of badlands. We visited the South Unit near Medora, North Dakota. Roosevelt first came to North Dakota to hunt bison in 1883. He fell in love with the rugged lifestyle and “perfect freedom” of the West. The Park is home to a wide variety of Great Plains wildlife. There are over 100 miles of foot and horse trails and many scenic drives.