Now, to catch up with our travels in the Custer State Park area: On Monday we drove the Needles Highway and took a hike around Sylvan Lake.
The park road winds through the forest and along the edge of the mountain. From it, your first view of the needles is a wall of upthrust rock spires in the distance.
As you get closer, there are many pull-outs along the road so you can admire these huge formations. Note how tiny I seem, standing at the base of this one.
I really don't have time to compose many words about them, but here is another neat image.
This rock had a name: The Eye of the Needle. I wanted to get the sun shining through the hole, but couldn't get the right angle.
Sylvan Lake is small with a lodge and boat/kayak rentals. There is also a swimming beach, and quite a few children were having fun in the water.
The hike around was about a mile and a half, partially paved, with a few challenging spots. I have learned that even if a walk is short, and starts level and paved, I should take my hiking poles along. I really need them for confidence and balance in rough spots.
The lake was perfectly calm and the air was cool. Wonderful!
We took a different route back to camp, and along the way we stopped to take pictures of several longhorn cattle grazing in a field. After the buffalo herds were decimated, a herd of 4000 wild Texas longhorns were driven up to the South and North Dakota grasslands. They in turn were almost all killed in the bad winter of 1886.
We passed this sign every time we left the park. Turtles or not, this is the way I prefer to move across this vast country of ours!
Except when I need a new tooth!