Custer City, SD June 19, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014 We did some planning this morning after breakfast and the three of us left the campground at 10:45. It was mostly sunny, but a cool 62 degrees and breezy. As we drove through the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, we entered Custer State Park. We hadn’t gotten far when we noticed some cars pulled alongside the road. They were observing a lone buffalo.

We sat for awhile and he barely noticed us. Auggie got scent of him and he started to whine. He really wanted to get a closer look, but it was time to move on. As we drove deeper into the park, we came upon our next stop–Legion Lake.

We wanted to check out the campground for our friends.

This campground seems more RV friendly for bigger rigs. From there, we hopped on the Needles Highway–famous for its hairpin turns, tunnels, and needle-like rock formations.

We spied one young deer eyeing us from the forest as we stopped to get a closer look at “The Hole-in-the-Wall”.

This was a small cave set beside a babbling brook. From there, we passed through a one-lane tunnel 9′ wide. It was a tight squeeze…one car at a time.

Our next stop gave us a breathtaking view of the Cathedral Spires on the right and Little Devil’s Tower on the left.

With our binoculars, we could see people on the top of Little Devil’s Tower. We hiked to the base of it yesterday, but were too weary (or scared) to climb to the top of it. It was cool to see where we had climbed on our hike. If you look real hard you can see someone standing on the top.

The smell of pine forest was in the air as we stood on the bluff taking in the view. We came upon “The Eye of the Needle” tunnel which was 8′ wide. Traffic was backed up waiting to go through.

I could touch the rock sides through my window.

We continued to snake through the rocks on our drive. There were a lot of hairpin turns and we had to go really slow, but the scenery was beautiful.

We had our picnic lunch on the shore of Sylvan Lake. It was a busy place today. We finished up our drive on Needles Highway with one more 10′ wide tunnel.

The traffic was backed up waiting to get through. It was a fairly long tunnel and we took our turn getting to the other side. We got back to the campground around 2:00 and made some reservations for the next part of our trip. We had dinner in town at Pizza Hut and bought some firewood to have a campfire tonight. It should be a cool night. The sunset was beautiful as we sat by the fire and waited for the stars to come out.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *