The sun peeks over the hill and a hush fall over the sounds of the birds and insects... A low rumble is heard upon the mixed grass prairie.
A child spotted them first -- a tiny hand points to a few black dots on the top of the ridge in the distance. Soon all eyes are fixed on the ridge. More dots appear.
Suddenly the excited crowd quiets and the sound of a cowboy's yelp fills the air. The thunder of 5,200 hooves pound the prairie soil. The thunder becomes a roar and the earth shakes beneath our feet.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the sound of the 47th Annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park as 1,300 buffalo come over the ridge, down the hill and into the corrals for sorting.
It is a fascinating sight to behold. At least that's what I'm told. I have no way of knowing for sure. What I've written here comes directly from the Custer State Park brochure and hearsay.
No one in my crowd of retirees was willing to arise at 4 a.m., get in line for park admittance at 4:30 a.m. and sit in the cold for 4 hours until 1,300 stinking bison stirred enough dust to cover us to a point beyond recognition.
I gave my friends a lot of grief and say they are wimps but I, too, was happy to sleep in and hear about The Great Buffalo Roundup from others who got up early, ate the dust and smelled the stink of buffalo that day.
|Not exactly "thundering hooves" but we liked seeing them in this setting better anyway.|