In early June, while driving the roads in Custer State Park, South Dakota, we saw these bison & bikes in front of us. YIKES!
It ends up we were driving through the Ride Across South Dakota (RASDak) annual event. The route for this six-day event changes every year. The part we saw had participants riding 37 miles from Hot Springs to Custer, South Dakota. Mileage of each leg of the 330-mile route varies by day.
Though a RASDak support vehicle parked nearby, I would be nervous being this close to bison with calves. In fact, visitors to Custer State Park are advised to “remain in your vehicle or stay at least 100 yards from bison, elk, and other animals.” I admired the bravery of these bike riders.
I’m sure the participants saw amazing sights along the entire route, but they were probably glad to get past this bison & bikes roadblock. What a great way to see the state!
I saw this impressive bison jump sculpture at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. Free Fall, created by T.D. Kelsey in 2001, depicts a hunting method in use for hundreds of years. Hunters herded bison toward a steep cliff, where they fell to their death. As I’ve mentioned before, bison are dangerous and this is a safer alternative for harvesting them. At the base of this sculpture, piles of bones appear in a recreated archaeological dig.
T.D. Kelsey was born and raised on a ranch near Bozeman, Montana. T.D. Kelsey: Realist, Romantic, and Inspired Sculptor describes his background, including time spent as a rodeo cowboy, pre-med student, rancher, and airline pilot. With encouragement from his wife, Sidni, Kelsey eventually began working full time as an artist. His love for animals shows in this piece and other sculptures and paintings he created over the years.
This morning I woke up with memories of a bison. This is Wooly Bully by local Central Oregon artist, Greg Congleton. This sculpture used to be in the Old Mill district of Bend but was moved several years ago.
The artist includes collected bits and pieces of everyday and historical artifacts. For example, the guts are made from four cylinders and a crankshaft. The eyes are -7/8 inch hitch balls. The lungs are made from a Model A Ford horn. He has the vision and talent to incorporate the unexpected into his unique works of art.
Maybe I was having memories of a bison because I was thinking of Yellowstone National Park. I hope to visit again soon and view the animals that inspired this outdoor sculpture.
These American bison are following an ancient pathway along the Gibbon River in Wyoming. The well-worn trail has been carved into the turf by the hooves of many.
Here’s a slightly closer view of the bison. Though they may look docile, you don’t want to get too close to these animals that can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and travel at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. I photographed them while safely inside the car.