life, travel

Oh Deer

I have some funny insights to share from my trip to South Dakota, but I’m not sure everyone gets my sense of humor. For today, I’ll post some of our sight seeing experiences.

With our dog, Max in the backseat, we planned to drive 8 hours the first day, 5 hours the next.

For the first time in many years of driving-travel, we left right on the time we set for ourselves. Yay! We drove 50 miles when I realized I forgot something. Guess what I left behind?

MY CAMERA!

If you’ve seen photos on my blog before, most of the time they are with my Canon Power Shot SX50, not a phone. I have an old windows phone which does not take good photos.

So much for getting on the road at our set time. We turned back, adding an extra 90 minutes to our drive.

We stopped in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the night, and the next morning we experienced these lovely cascades below.

We left there around noon and headed toward the Badlands, a four hour drive that felt like forty, despite the 80 mile per hour speed limit (128kph).

This city girl felt like she landed in the twilight zone. I’d never seen so much nothingness in my life.

Side note: Pictures of the drive were taken through a bug stained window while going 85 mph (136kph).

There was the occasional farm, cows and windmills. The barren highway with so few vehicles made it all the more eerie.

After three hours of driving, we rounded a curve, and the yellowy-green fields gave way to the body of water shown below.

At first, I thought it was a mirage, but it turned out to be the Missouri river. After we crossed the bridge, we returned to the twilight zone.

Above is our lone vehicle at a rest area. Not a single car on the highway behind us. That road eventually led us to a hot, parched, rocky, cavernous land.

The above photo is my favorite of the whole trip. It looks like they’re walking a boardwalk to nowhere.

Side note: There was quite a bit of haze across the entire state due to Montana wildfires.

The Badlands.

From there, we left for the Black Hills. As the sky clung to last remnants of sunlight, we arrived at our rustic cabin. The tires of our car crackled on the stone-gravel driveway, and a dozen deer scattered out of the way.

I won’t bore you with more details of the entire trip, but I’ll leave you with one story.

We had spent a long, twisty-turny day driving the cliffy scenic byways in Custer State Park.

Near the end of that journey, we came across another majestic sight that we couldn’t pass up.

Lots of vehicles traversed in and out of the compact parking area. Husband pulled into a spot and pointed to a trail between the brush. “Let’s go.”

The trail is where those people are going. Note the trees growing out of rock!

I sighed with exhaustion, but the hills called my name. “Okay, get the dog. I’ll grab the camera.” (Yay for those extra 100 miles to get it).

Not more than fifty yards into the trail, husband stopped and pointed at something to our left. A tourist in front of us started snapping away with a professional camera.

I spotted fuzzy horns peeking atop the brush.

I clicked my camera while waving husband away, worried our dog might start barking. Max and husband hiked farther down the path. The young buck (YB) fixed it’s eyes squarely on Max and followed them!

I trailed behind taking photos and video, but I got worried, because the deer’s fixation on Max wouldn’t cease. At one point it spooked a bit and rushed toward them, but then stopped.

I mentioned to a woman tourist near me that the deer didn’t seem to fear us, but I was concerned about its fixation on my dog.

In a snarky tone she responded, “It can’t hurt your dog.”

Listen lady, are you too old to know what youtube is? Haven’t you ever seen videos of a deer attack?

That’s what I thought on the inside, but I didn’t say it out loud.

I hoped that if I made some noise, I’d scare YB up the hill and farther into the forest. It worked, and my two guys were able to turn back on the trail, but not without YB keeping a watchful eye as they passed.

We’re unsure if Max ever saw the deer, because he has barked when seeing wildlife before, but didn’t this time. Husband says the dog seemed agitated, so he may have caught a glimpse or smelled him.

I wrote about more insights from the trip here, when I Accidentally Walked into Someone’s House.

Have you ever gotten a snarky response from a stranger you engaged? If so, how did you handle it?

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30 thoughts on “Oh Deer”

    1. Thanks for validating my concern for Max, Andrea. The deer was obviously afraid of the dog, but fear sometimes makes for dangerous reactions.

      Glad you liked the photos, after those extra 100 miles to be able to take them. Heh. Thanks for the nice comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for sharing this story about your trip. Amazing pictures, too. My favorite one is the last one. Lovely picture of you!

    I like that: I’m an overprotective “mom” when it comes to my four-leggeds 😉

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  2. Hahaha. I can certainly relate to the forgotten camera. 🙂 Another blogger suggested that I stick a post-it with the word “camera” next to my keys. I’m going to follow his advice. 🙂

    But otherwise, what fabulous photos! It looks like you had a really great trip. Too bad about the snark. Some people feel that it’s their job to correct the rest of the whole world, whether they should be doing so or not.

    Great post. 🙂

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    1. You know, I handle the snark from strangers much better than from people I love. It hurts more with people who are supposed to know and love me.

      We really did have a great time, despite the snark. I’m wishing I was back there again.

      Great idea about the post-it.

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    1. Hi Laura. The black hills were cool in that so much of them are made of different types of rocks. They are like gemstones, and you know I had to take some home with me. 😉 Thanks for reading, L.

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  3. Great photos! There is a lot of nothingness in parts of New Mexico as well, and once you get over the “wow, I can’t believe how undeveloped and untouched this land is,” it gets monotonous real quick. But it looks like it was worth it for the views you ended up with.

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    1. It really was boring after a while. I drove for only a short time but then had to let my husband get back behind the wheel. The nothingness put me to sleep. Glad you liked the photos. I went an extra 100 miles for those. 😉

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  4. Years ago, exactly at this part of September, we had some incredible meals at the lodges in Custer State Park. Seriously, they were incredibly good. Which is good because we couldn’t drive up to Mt. Rushmore because of the HEAVY SNOW FALLING!!! Too bad you had to deal with snark on your trip, though. I just don’t get people like that.

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    1. There was snow at this time when you went? Wow. Despite the snarky woman, the deer experience was pretty cool. Thanks for reading, JM. Hope you’re having a wonderful birthday.

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    1. Hi Jill. As a city girl, seeing that wildlife (and more) was a great experience, despite the snarky lady. Thanks for the nice words about the pics. 🙂

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  5. “I’d never seen so much nothingness in my life.”–Ha, having grown up in eastern North Dakota, I know that experience well. Luckily, the western part with the Badlands is much prettier. Once you get there anyway. 😄

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    1. Ha. Believe it or not, Carrie, I thought of you when we reached Dakota. I wondered if it was like that where you grew up. I couldn’t even imagine. BTW, technically I guess I had seen this before, but I was a kid. My parents took us to there when I was a kid, but I don’t think I paid attention to what was out the window. As a child, just going on vacation with my family was exciting enough.

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  6. When I run into people who are rude or even just snarky, I always think, “Thank God I don’t have to live with that person.” Those people are obviously not happy and I try not to give them another thought. They don’t deserve it.

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    1. This is the dumb city girl in me not knowing anything about wildlife. All I can go by are the two youtube videos I saw of a deer attacking (one was a man, the other a dog). I’m an overprotective “mom” when it comes to my four-leggeds. I once confronted a loose, snarling dog who tried to go after my last dog. That deer wouldn’t know what was coming if he proved those youtube videos correct. LOL I had my pepper spray with me. Although my dog was on a leash, I feared what he might do if he saw it, too. All in all though, it was a cool experience, despite the snarky woman.

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        1. I was surprised there was no reaction from Max near that deer as well. He saw the deer out our cabin window every night and he growled. One night when we walked him at the cabin, the deer kept their distance. Max saw them, and we told him to stay quiet. But, just as we were going back inside, he let out one loud bark at them. Ha. He wanted to let them know who was in charge.

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    1. LOL Well, since this wife did all of the arranging and packing for the trip, I was bound to forget something. Perhaps I should’ve forgot the husband instead of the camera. Hehe.

      Thanks for reading and checking out the photos that were worth that extra 100 miles.

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