Them Black Hills

We braved the heat, road-trip, camping, and even some storms this past weekend in South Dakota. One of Linnea’s good friends was getting married, so we decided to make a weekend of it with stops in Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. Traveling with little William is a bit of an adjustment, especially since our air-conditioning went down, but me made it to our camp by 7:30p.

William was pretty happy to get out of his car seat, Linnea ate campfire pies faster than I could make them, and I was just happy to have a couple ice-cold Cokes.

It was a good night camping with solid sleep for all three of us. Just to be safe, we picked a site far up on a hill away from all the other campers. We were all up at 5a to begin out busy day. By 6a, we were off and driving the Needles Highway in Custer State Park. I have a lot of good memories of trips with my family, scrambling on rocks, and seeing lots of wildlife, and was surprised to hear that this was Linnea’s first trip to the park.

The road was deserted that early in the morning and after messing around by the Eye of the Needle, we decided the weather was just too nice to not go for a short hike.

We made the short jaunt up to Cathedral Spires where we enjoyed the short-lived cool morning air. All the hard work hiking made William hungry, so while Linnea fed him, I made a quick run up to Little Devils Tower for some more great views.

Back to the car, we finished off the highway and then made a stop by a lake for more feeding time. Too bad I didn’t have my fishing gear, because the fishing looked prime. From there we drove down to the wild-life loop where the wild jackasses were quite happy to get their mouths on Linnea’s pringles. It looked like everyone else was feeding them carrots, so when Linnea whipped out the chips, she had some new friends.

We continued on to Iron Mountain Road where we go our first views of Mount Rushmore. More feeding at the top in the limited shade, and we were off to get a closer look.

We arrived at Mt. Rushmore in the heat of the day and after a few quick pictures, we sought cover in the Visitor’s Center for more feeding in theater.

Somehow we managed to make it up to Deadwood for just enough time to check in at the Campground and take a quick shower. Luckily we didn’t have enough time to set up the tent since major storms rolled through later in the evening. They settled down after the reception and we found just a big enough window to get the tent up and crash. The next morning, it was was scrambled eggs for breakfast at 6a, and then a quick exit when the rain started back up. The drive back was uneventful besides some big storms outside of Denver and we were happy to just miss the big hail. It was a fun weekend, but it will be a while before we take another road trip!