By Morgan Breidel
With only a twelve hour time slot, it’s amazing how much our team fit into our day. To start off our adventure on an overcast day we drove two hours to a small nook called Cold Brook Lake in Hot Springs. I got the chance to go into the crystal clear water and took in all of my surroundings; the Black Hills, the calm water, and Taylor trying to sit in a thing of tall weeds.
After our break, we went over to the Wind Cave. This cave is the sixth longest cave coming in at 147 miles long all together, and this all fits into one square mile. During the cave tour we got to experience total darkness where the tour guide shuts off all lights in the cave. Again we were off after the tour, this time we got to go to Crazy Horse to see the ginormous carving of Crazy Horse that’s on the side of a mountain. The sculpture/monument depicts Crazy Horse riding his horse and pointing to his land. This is so big that it was started in 1930 and only the face and the top of his arm is finished!
After a wonderful picnic of sandwiches in the parking lot in front of Crazy Horse, we got to go to Custer State Park. Here we got to go on an unbelievable buffalo excursion. Before we saw any buffalo we got to meet some friendly, and not so friendly donkeys that tried to climb into our van when we pulled out Annette O’Hern’s amazing peanut butter cookies. With some coaxing we convinced them that some chips from a girl in another car were better than our cookies! Soon after, my van was surrounded by buffalo. When I say surrounded, I mean I could have stuck my hand out the window and felt some of the Tatankas (buffalo).
The excursion through Custer State Park ended with a drive by the Needles Mountains which are hundreds of tall and skinny mountains that touch the sky. I got a little vertigo just looking at them. To end the night I had a wonderful meal at Pizza Ranch thanks to Elroy Cross who’s heart is bigger than the buffalo I saw.