David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
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Liverworks Productions
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Biking West 2015
09/11  Hello Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa
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09/18  Windmills
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09/24  NorfoRk
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09/27  Roast the Eagles
10/02  Stinky Bus
10/03  Gordon
10/04  Chadron
10/07  Oglala National Grassland
10/08  Edgemont
10/09  Custer State Park
10/10  Mickelson Trail
10/11  Deadwood
10/14  Wyoming
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10/16  Thunder Basin National Grassland
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11/24  Into the Sierras
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12/01  Miahuatlan
12/02  Up and Down the Mountain
12/03  No Minions in Huatulco
12/05  Adios
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Custer State Park


tl;dr: Left Edgemont via the Mickelson Trail and looped through Custer State Park. Lots of critters and pictures.

When I stepped outside this morning there was a hint of sage in the air. Am I so far west?

I left Edgemont on the Mickelson Trail. This trail is so much better than the Cowboy Trail. I does follow the highway for a couple miles, but then it breaks off and heads into the wonderful scenery of the Black Hills.

In Pringle, I left the Mickelson Trail to head east into Wind Cave National Park and then into Custer State Park. Oh look, a prairie dog! Let me take a picture. An hour later and about a million prairie dogs down the road: Oh shut up with your squeaking, prairie dog! I never did get a good picture.

Why can't I breath? Oh yeah, I'm at 5000 feet. I haven't been at this altitude in a while. I had better get used to it.

Upon entering Custer State Park I immediately found some pronghorn antelope along the road that just didn't care. This would be the trend throughout the park. Animals here are used to even bicycles. Contrast this to the antelope back in the grasslands that would spot me at a half-mile and bolt. I found a buffalo scratching itself on a rock just before taking a back road into the park proper.

I recommend visiting this park.

At one point I was pacing an older couple from India in their car. We came across some "wild" burros. I managed to scratch one on the nose. The lady asked me, "are they aggressive?" I told them, "Nah. I think they just want to be fed." The next group of burrows down the road the lady was feeding them graham crackers from the car.

Rather than follow paved roads, I turned off onto the park's dirt roads, following Fisherman's Flat Road until it turned into an unruly horse trail. At that point I was pushing my bike, because the trail was just too rough. I ended up camping in some pine trees that had been molested by loggers.

Edgemont yard turkeys

two-headed mule deer

from the Mickelson Trail

heading into Sheep Canyon

old mine?

deer on the Mickelson trail

cat sleeping in round bales

more turkeys

red-bellied snake (I think)

typical South Dakota

Welcome to Custer State Park

pronghorn antelope

buffalo scratching itself on a rock

buffalo by the road

wild burros

just a deer in its cave

Fisherman's Flat Road

good enough place to camp

contact me at le@liverworks.com
< 2015-10-08 Edgemont 2015-10-10 Mickelson Trail >