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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Black Hills Bucket List: Camping Custer

It's been over a month since my last post.  I'm a bad blogger, I'm sorry.
 
So I probably forgot to mention that we purchased THIS!

 
We had a pop-up camper back in Ohio, but sold it before we moved to South Dakota, due to not having anywhere to store it here.  We had been wanting to purchase another for a while, and finally just did it.  We took it out on our maiden voyage this past weekend!
 
We took a giant chance, googled campgrounds, and decided on Big Pine Campground in Custer. Our chance turned out pretty stinking awesome, I must say.  We've camped a handful of times, so I can't say we have all the camping/campground experience in the world, but I think we have enough to know that this campground is AWESOME.  It's not huge, it's not fancy, but our site was spacious, gorgeous, and so relaxing.

 

 
I always forget how darn cold it gets around here once the sun sets behind the hills!
 
 
There were two small playground areas for the kids, one of which (pictured) was right across the gravel road from our campsite, which worked out beautifully.  The kids could play while we were at the site and we could still see them perfectly the whole time.

 
Saturday morning started out nice and slow-paced with pancakes and sausage, and some coffee under the pine trees.  Perfection.
 
 
After breakfast, we went to nearby Jewel Cave National Monument and toured 2 of the 171.6 explored miles of this awesome underground wonder. The pictures aren't great, as light was clearly limited inside the cave.  At one point, we entered a room, and after we were warned/advised, the guide killed all the lights.  He told us that if we waved our hand in front of our faces and thought that we could see our hands moving, that our minds were playing tricks on us.  It was a really crazy experience!
 
 
 
After the cave, we headed back to the campground, took a short nap, then just relaxed at the site.  Our plan for the weekend was some serious R&R, and we definitely accomplished that!  The boys played at the playground and climbed on the rocks lining the permiter of our site.  We made sauteed chicken and veggies (red and green bell peppers with yellow squash) for dinner, along with some fresh cherries.  It was so delicious.  Camping doesn't have to equal hot dogs!
 
 
Camping wouldn't be complete without roasting a marshmallow or two over the fire, of course.
 


 

 

 
We purchased ice cream at the camp store, and that, paired with my Bellini wine drink and a campfire made for a perfect Saturday evening.

 
The picture doesn't do this beautiful sunset any justice.  It was breathtaking.

 
And of course, what fun activity would be complete without a little interruption from our good pal, Diabetes. 

 
Sacked out after a fun-filled day at the campground!

 
Sunday morning, we made scrambled eggs with bacon, then leisurely packed things up and were back in Rapid City by 10:15 am.  These pictures show the view driving back home.  These Black Hills really are spectacular.


 
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would easily give Big Pine Campground a 9.  It was so relaxing, extremely clean, and the staff/owners were so friendly.  The next time we choose to camp in Custer, we'll definitely be staying here again!
 
This coming weekend, barring lots of rain, we are planning to camp at Sheridan Lake.  I can't wait!
 
Have a super week, everyone!

2 comments:

  1. Very cool, we used to have a pop up, but we out grew it. We recently got a big cabin tent that we used in Ohio at the MidWest Geobash, but haven't had the chance to go anywhere else. Did you have any wildlife encounters while you were camping?

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  2. Looks like you had a blast! I just wish the Black Hills wasn't such a far drive for us with our camper:( One my bucket list of camping for sure

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