1,800 Miles from Gold Beach, Oregon: Custer, SD

The travel continues as we work from the road. With places to go, people to see. We are spending these two weeks in an area of the country we have seen before many times before, Custer, South Dakota.

Custer State Park Bison

Mount Rushmore, the spectacular Crazy Horse Memorial, and its Native American University are sites worth visiting more than once in a lifetime. The carving on Crazy Horse reveals more each time we visit. Let us not forget America’s largest mammal, the American Bison, that roams free in Custer State Park. They roam free in several other parts of our country as well, and there is currently a movement to bring this animal back from near extinction. The plan is to grow the United States herd to one million animals.

500,000 Bison exist on private land and around 30,000 on public land, with half of those considered free-range or not confined by fences. This number is growing each year. During the early 1800s, there were an estimated sixty million that roamed free. By 1900, the total bison population in the United States was just 300.

With bison meat being so much healthier than cattle beef and bison being more resilient than cattle, there is even more interest in bringing back this animal to its once flourishing numbers.

In addition to getting closer to our furry friends, this portion of our adventure has revealed some interesting comparisons.

First, there are several types of tourist towns.

  • Towns that have in-town attractions to offer visitors
  • Towns that are “on the way” to where someone is visiting
  • Towns that have surrounding attractions

Custer SD is a well-done town of the latter type. They have the surrounding attractions, but the town is laid out in such a way so that when people stop, they have plenty of parking, all the stores are within walking distance, all seem connected. The sidewalks are busy the stores are full in a town with a population of just 1,900.

In all types of tourist towns, outside influences have an impact: COVID, fires, road construction, gas prices, social reputations, etc. What we do to counter these depends on our outlook. We all need to plan as best as we can, trying to predict what the future holds. Marketing, implementing the future – should be our goal. Market the value in what we have to offer.

Most recently, COVID may have kicked our collective butts, however, just like the American Bison, we can make a comeback. We can get through this, survive, and thrive. It will just take a little more effort, a little more planning, a little more can-do attitude.

“For this is not the end of the road. It is just a bend in the road. There is more joy, more sorrow, and more promise just around the corner.”


Enjoy what you have; the ocean, the forest, that long and wide Rogue River. Many places in this world do not have any of what we daily take for granted.

Guest Author: EsQue