Memorial Day Weekend & Custer State Park

How did everyone’s long weekend go?
Lots of burgers, beer, and sun bathing?
It was a bit chilly here in South Dakota with rain threatening to ruin our party through Friday and Saturday. Nevertheless, husband and I vowed to make the weekend full so we threw on our rain jackets and weathered the storm. 
As usual our weekend involved lots of good food. To the tune of french toast, truffled poached eggs, whole wheat pancakes, a dark chocolate stout, and of course a few grilled specialties (albeit grilled on our indoor grill pan).
Saturday we hit up the farmer’s market on main street in hopes of bringing home bucketfuls of fresh produce. Shocking, I know, outside of some tomatoes and lettuce it was slim pickings. I had hoped there was some magician of a farmer that was able to grow lots of home grown delicacies in spite of the cool SD weather, but there wasn’t.
What there was, however, was a cowboy-looking man, with an overpacked cooler of bison meat that he needed to get rid of. So we came home with two massive thick cut bison ribeyes, ours for an enviable two-for-one deal. Husband and I split one for our Memorial Day dinner. At a little over a pound a piece I think three people could have split one! I’m already drooling thinking about the other one waiting patiently in our freezer. 
For anyone curious as to how we cooked the steak, we rubbed it down with a salt crust (it requires A LOT of salt as it is absorbed so quickly), sprinkled it with pepper, pan seared it in oil in our cast iron skillet, then basted it with herbs and butter before finishing it in the oven. 
The result was a tender, salty, delicious piece of perfection for your taste buds.
But food wasn’t the only thing on our agenda, although arguably the most important 🙂 We took the long weekend as an opportunity to visit a few more of the local state parks for a picnic (you didn’t think I would forget about food for long did you?) and a hike or two.
This time it was Custer State Park. 
It was of course packed with the holiday crowds AND a wedding of all things thrown right in.

I was happy with how my pictures turned out, but I swear it feels impossible to impress just how beautiful this place was.

With so many people and dogs, our dogs had to enjoy the park to the extent of their leashes. Not something they were very happy about.

People were rock climbing on the huge boulders, biking along the trails, lunching by the lake, and exploring every little cave and creek available.

I had to wait forever for this area to clear for a picture!

Seriously? Does it get any prettier?

But our fun didn’t stop there! A storm looked like it might hit the lake so we decided to forgo our long hike plans and opted to drive on through the park to catch a peak at the buffalo…

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