Sunday, September 25, 2011

It’s Buffalo Roundup Time in the Black Hills

This weekend it’s Buffalo Roundup time in Custer State Park. Actually, the Roundup is Monday but the festivities started yesterday. (Saturday) This Roundup is getting so much publicity that more and more people come from far and near to see it every year. They are expecting crowds close to the 15,000 mark this year. Since Ms. Pat and I used to participate in the Roundup for the 9 Summers we worked out in the park, we hardly ever go out to it anymore. However if you remember last year we made an exception and took a break from working on the “Summer Cabin” and took Rollie and Gina, Mark and Dale and John and Michal Bagley all to the Roundup. We all had a great time and those are sure some fond memories.
Wranglers work to control the herd as they move toward the corral area Monday during the annual buffalo roundup at Custer State Park. The roundup allows park officials to manage the herd and cull animals for sale to keep the population around 1,000.

(Elisha Page/Argus Leader)
This is my famous picture of my friend and former boss Ron during the roundup a couple years ago. He was actually trying to turn back a group of Buffalo that broke away from the rest of the herd. I don't know if he was successful or not. I love this picture.  It made the cover of several magazines. It is special to me because Ron is using my Saddle, the one I won back in the days when I was following Rodeos for a living. Gosh, it's unbelievable that saddle is as old as it is.  Wow, as I recall that was way back in 1953 when I won it for All around Champion Cowboy. That was 58 years ago!! Holy Cow!!  I guess saddles haven’t changed much over the years and it's in better shape than I am, that’s for sure. Ron loves this saddle and rides it all the time. I am so happy for him to use it. I know it's in good hands, he's as proud of it as I am and he takes real good care of it.
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Yesterday was the first day of the Arts and Crafts Festival, held right in the center of the Park. The weather was beautiful and it’s scheduled to be that way for the next few days. Ms. Pat and I decided it would be a great day for our last Motorcycle ride for this year, so about 10:00 we headed out for the Park to see what was going on in the Park and to walk around at the Arts and Crafts Festival. It's a lot of fun because we always see a lot of our old friends there that we used to work with. This celebration just gets bigger and bigger every year. I can remember when it was only a few booths. They have free entertainment all day long and every kind of arts and crafts you can imagine are displayed. 
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When we left the Arts and Crafts area, we decided to take the “Wild Life Loop” on our way home. It’s a 20 mile loop of the South section of Custer State Park and the area where the Roundup is held. The above photo (taken from the road) is of the Buffalo Corrals where the Buffalo are handled. Looks like they are all set up for the BIG crowd.
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Down the road a couple miles, we ran into this herd of Buffalo grazing. There was a long line of cars and we just stopped, shut off the Harley, leaned back and watched them all walk right by us. What a neat experience..
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They just nonchalantly moseyed right on by us very close acting as if we didn’t exist. They are used to the vehicles and visitors taking pictures and if you don’t get them riled up, they won’t bother you.
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This old gal and her calf walked right by us on the road in the left lane. They were all headed somewhere, maybe they heard there was a “Roundup” .Smile There was about 40-50 cows plus calves in the group. Little does she know that in just a few short hours she will be separated from that beautiful healthy baby of hers and he will be suddenly exposed to being on his own! But I bet she has trained him well!
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Notice the colors of the trees as the leaves are just beginning to turn. What a beautiful time of the year! (click on these pictures to enlarge them)
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More colors…
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What a super day and what a GREAT last ride for 2011.

“Custer State Park, We Love Every inch of You”!!


It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!   We Praise the Lord and give our thanks for being blessed with this wonderful life!

God Bless you all and thanks for taking the time to stop by.


 Mike

This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

15 comments:

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Great pictures of the buffalo, they are still large & powerful animals and demand respect.Have a great weekend. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

All Because Two People Fell In Love said...

Gina and I will cherish those memories from last year forever. Even better than being at the round-up was spending time with you and mom and hearing all the stories. Wish we were there this year too. Looked like a beautiful day for that last ride of the year. We love and miss y'all.
Love and Hugs,
Your Kids

Jerry and Suzy said...

Great place, great time. Love that first picture, loved it last year too. It's worthy of framing!

Jim and Sandie said...

That is a fantastic picture of Ron. I can see why it was used as a cover picture. Haven't seem much color change here in Billings yet. Still too hot. Travel safe when you head out.

Donna K said...

Great pictures. Looks like Ron is about to get rounded up by the buffalo! It's nice when you can pass something on to someone who will use it and love it as much as you do.

Happytrails said...

What wonderful memories!! :-) You have done/experienced so many things I love to read all about them. Thanks for sharing!
Mike and I would love to experience the buffalo roundup one day. It is on our "to see" list. That list is quite long!! LOL
What a wonderful last ride for the season. Even the buffalo wanted to drop by and say "so long for now."

Kenny And Angela's Adventure said...

What a great day for the last ride of 2011. Love the pictures..

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

You need a new trike for Congress so you wouldn't have to take it back and forth.

Wish we were there to see the roundup!

Sue and Doug said...

great photo of your friend Ron!..I can see why it was 'magazine cover' material!!!

Marty and Roz said...

The picture I really love is the one of your "bus." Great photo. Also, you must have been the youngest kid on the rodeo circuit, all of 10-12 years old?? I was amazed at the huge numbers of buffalo we saw on that "wildlife" loop a couple of weeks ago when the DW and I were there and how docile and nonchalant they were to all the tourists. Truly a beautiful and memorable area.

Rene' and Jeanette Genereux said...

Nice shots of the buffalo round up. Too bad you cannot take the Harley with you to Arizona....or is there some room in the back of the truck for it?

Jeannie said...

We were there just a week ago. Wish we could have stayed. The buffalo were wa-a-a-y off in the distance at the time of the wildlife loop drive that we did. Love your photos and memories.

Sherry and Charley Dilworth said...

Great pictures of our favorite state park!! We love that place and will be back someday to visit it again. Maybe we can plan to be there for the roundup when we return.

Hope you and Pat are doing well. Know you are looking forward to your trek south soon!!

Safe travels!

Barb and Ron said...

We so wish we could have been there with you. We briefly visited the Riverwalk here in San Antonio yesterday and it was 105. We recalled the cool temperatures and the beauty and quiet of the Black Hills and just sighed. Miss you both but glad to see you are doing well and enjoying your remaining days there!

Janna and Mike said...

What a great blog Mike--beautiful photos, we both enjoyed it!