While traveling through South Dakota, we attempted & failed to find camping in Custer State Park. They were full for the day. The park ranger was kind enough to direct us out and on to our next stop, Mt. Rushmore. On our way to Mt. Rushmore we encountered a traffic jam unlike any I have ever witnessed. A traffic jam I actually enjoyed and it lasted for well over an hour. As we approached the stopped traffic, we both wondered what could be the holdup, besides the curvy roads. Our first guess was an RV. No offense to RV people, but we found ourselves stuck behind many of them on our trip.
As we rounded the corner, the cause became quite clear. A couple hundred buffalo were free roaming on the hillside and on the road. What a surprise for two mid-westerners!
Traffic was backed up in both directions, but no tempers flared as people sat back in their cars taking it all in. I immediately reached for my camera and started capturing the scene.
Love the look I am getting from this one.
A baby hurrying to catch up with mom.
Coolest traffic jam I have been in. I would take buffalo over city traffic any day.
“Just grazing and ignoring all of these cars in my territory.”
What an amazing site to look out the driver’s side window and see this.
“Excuse me, coming through.” When an animal that big crosses in front of your vehicle, you sit back and wait patiently.
This particular buffalo was in no hurry!
Later, I looked up Custer State Park and discovered they have approximately 1300 free roaming buffalo in the park. We happen to be lucky enough to stumble upon around 200 or so of them. In the end, a park ranger drove through, somewhat aggressively, to persuade these large animals to move off the road.
Please note, all photos were taken from inside of our car. I was not inclined to disturb this herd of buffalo or take any chances. Although someone ahead of us got out of their car to take photos. To each their own.
Have you found yourself in a traffic jam of animals? If so, share your story in the comments.