4:45 am sure comes early. Following another recommendation by the friendly welcome center lady, we decided to attend the 50th annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. Because it was the anniversary year, they were anticipating upwards of 20,000 people to attend, and we were advised by a number of people to arrive by 6:00am to get good seats. We were in line to enter the park by 6:15am, coffee in hand, and spent three hours watching the sun rise as we crawled bumper-to-bumper to the event.
It was nearly 9:30am by the time we were seated on the hill overlooking the roundup corral, and we spent the next hour and a half wondering if and when the buffalo would show up.
Sure enough, shortly after 11:00am several hundred head of buffalo were slowly driven across the plains below us by an assortment of cowboys on horseback and pickup trucks.
The herd was clearly divided into two separate camps: One did exactly what it was supposed to, herding itself into the corral without being led. The other group had apparently seen too many episodes of Prison Break, and took every opportunity to head for the hills.
After a while we decided we’d seen enough, and didn’t want to sit in the kind of traffic we’d encountered on the way in, so we packed up our camp chairs and made our way to the car. After witnessing several incidents of road rage, we escaped down a gravel road out of the park, and returned to our campground, where we explored the woods around our campground and napped a gorgeous afternoon away.