| Breakfast: ||Continental breakfast at hotel.|
| Morning: ||Depart the hotel very early in the morning to attend the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup.|
Enjoy a drive through Custer State Park’s 73,000 acres, one of the largest state parks in the nation. While driving the park’s Wildlife Loop, watch for mule and whitetail deer, antelope, “begging” burros, coyotes, wild turkeys, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and Golden Eagles. The State Game Lodge, located within the park, is a gracious stone-and-wood lodge built in 1920 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It served as the "Summer White House" for President Calvin Coolidge in 1927 and was visited by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953.
During the Buffalo Roundup, you will be sitting and standing on grassy areas. Your instructor will find the best observation place as park personnel and cowhands do their best to drive the buffalo into corrals in this first step to preparing part of the herd for the November Buffalo Auction. The annual roundup is conducted to keep the bison population in check with the available grassland forage. The revenues from the sale (about 450 animals) help support day-to-day operations of the park.
Bison facts: It is the largest land mammal in North America, can stand 6 feet at the shoulders, weigh over 2,000 pounds, clock speeds of 50 mph and easily push a one-ton opponent backwards. Buffalo paw the ground and raise their tail as a warning when angry. During a storm, buffalo face straight into the storm, whereas domestic livestock face away.
| Lunch: ||Enjoy a BBQ lunch at the Buffalo Roundup Corral Tent.|
| Afternoon: |
| Afternoon: ||At 1 p.m., park staff begins branding the calves and checking the general health of all the bison, determining which will be sold and which kept. You can watch all this from a catwalk above the pens.|
Travel to Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse.
The majestic, 60-foot faces of four U.S. presidents gaze out over South Dakota’s Black Hills. From the Grandview Terrace, the views are spectacular of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Discover why the four presidents were selected, see how the mountain was carved and learn about sculptor Gutzon Borglum and workers who brought Mount Rushmore to life. Visit the interpretive center that explains how the mountain was carved, watch a short introduction film, find your state flag, and just enjoy the beauty of the area. If you can walk stairs, you may want to take a half-mile walk on the Presidential Trail.
Later, 15 miles from Mount Rushmore, see a fifth granite face that has emerged in the Black Hills. Crazy Horse is the largest sculptural undertaking ever, on a scale with the Egyptian pyramids. In 1939, Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear invited sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve an Indian memorial in the Black Hills. Though Korczak died in 1982, the sculptor’s family continues the non-profit project. It will be the largest mountain carving in the world when completed.
| Dinner: ||Enjoy a Farewell Dinner and you say goodbye to fellow participants and share stories of your weeklong adventure in the Black Hills.|