In 1874, Lt. Col. Custer left Fort Abraham Lincoln in North Dakota with and expedition of 1200 troopers, an engineer, 80 civilians, a couple of miners, some newspaper correspondents, a botanist, geologist, Indian scouts and a female cook. He took 1,000 horse, 300 head of cattle, 110 wagons, each pulled by six mules and several greyhounds.
The expedition was charged with entering the Black Hills to map, catalog and seek out a location for a new fort. In addition, he was charged with looking for minerals and natural resources. The expedition kept meticulous records and readings of points along the route. This expedition occurred a quarter of a century after the discovery of gold in California. The expedition discovered gold in amounts as rich as they could have dreamed of.
The park now keeps a herd of roughly 1500 head of Buffalo and each year sells off several hundred. The blood line and free range Buffalo bring big dollars back to the park as the average sale price can be around $2500 each. They are sold and transported to private herds all over the country. Watching these animals free to roam the range is amazing. Some of them are huge and while they are often docile they can turn on you. They will get out of your way on their terms or turn and ram you. We had one right in front of the truck.
Other wild life is abundant as well.
We drove into Custer and lunch at a bakery. I had a very good hamburger while Mia had the soup. And yes, I loved their buns.
Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.