Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park

What a nice day we had today. With two days to spend here in Rapid City, SD, we took in a day trip to Mt. Rushmore and the nearby Custer State Park. Rushmore is a neat place, of course. In Custer we mostly drove through their scenic wildlife loop. We observed prong-horn deer (almost got run into by two fawns that were beside themselves to get across the road…in front of our van; they made it!), white-tailed deer, bison, turkey, and rain! Since rain is scarce, it seemed to be the most rare of what we found worth noting.

On our drive back to Rapid City through the scenic routes, we came upon a couple guys trying to round up some stray cattle. Some of the herd was on the road and heading home apparently. They were focused on some cattle that was still reluctant to join the returning herd. As we slowly made our way past the plodding bovines, a bull seemed to be hesitant to commit to the left side or the right side (our side) of the road. I stopped while he walked and decided. In just a moment a man driving an old Ford Taurus came racing around the blind curve just up and ahead of us. He saw the cows too late to stop. He slammed on the brakes and the car headed in a diagonal trajectory, skidding straight for the bull and for us just a couple years beyond. We were stopped and with a vehicle behind us, and with really only an instant, there was nothing we could do but watch the car skidding toward us.

Beth and I had the same thought. Either the car will hit the bull and send the bull into the front of our van where we sat, and/or the car will continue on and hit us head-on as well.

Thankfully, neither of those happened. The plodding bull found instantaneous motivation and energy and nearly leaped to the closest embankment as other cows scurried in all sorts of awkward directions. The Ford Taurus left a long trail of skid marks and somehow stopped just short of hitting us. Oddly enough, after coming to a stop having missed both us and the bull and cows, the driver peeled out down the road and didn’t look back. Not sure if he had just robbed a bank or was trying to get home to rush someone to the doctor or was simply driving like it was a Friday after work when many drivers seem to lose touch with reality.

In any case, we had to pry our feet out of the floorboards and finish our drive back to civilization as our minds replayed that moment in time seemingly suspended in our consciousness all the way back. Praise God for keeping us safe once again!

I didn’t take as many photos as I thought I did, but here are a few to share with you.

Enjoy!

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