CUSTER, SD….THE GOOD PART
Today started amazing...
This morning Brooks and I woke up early to take a hike in Custer State Parker and hopefully see animals munching away on their breakfast…
Except…I OBVIOUSLY have an inflated sense of self in my amazing sense of direction….because I had no clue which way to turn out of the motel, being overly confident I knew the way. NOPE… it appears my sense of direction has dimmed ALOT, since the invention of GPS…. which you can’t use with NO CELL SERVICE!!
ANYWAY..., as it has been with this whole trip, I have great outcomes from fantastic mistakes. After 30 mins of wondering what the heck I did and where the hell was I, Brooks and I stumbled upon Jewel Cave National Park! MOM FOR THE WIN!!
It was amazing!! We went down 500 ft down into this cave and saw the 3rd largest cave in the US. It was stunning and a bit chilly… but so fun to share it with Brooks.
Brooks and I headed back to our awesome motel and picked everyone else up for Custer and it was AMAZING!!!! I had been there before as a 20something, but to watch my kids faces, as they petted wild burros.. and fed them carrots, watched a family of deer chillin’ in a field and saw a herd of bison a few feet from the car… was just unforgettable. My sweet animal loving Brooks… there are no words to express the pure delight on his face when he saw a new animal in the wild. It was magical.
The park is stunning with breathtaking vistas. We drove the wildlife loop and saw so much. The colors of green and gold, against the blue sky… memorable! I wish I could paint it.
After lunch, we hoped back in the van, after a 2 + hour lunch (Ahhhh) and started on the The Needles highway up to Sylvan Lake. This drive is beyond breathtaking, with views of the rock spirals that make Custer Park famous. We went through two tunnels carved into the mountains and one that is a natural formation (the Needle) .
Our plan was to rent a canoe and enjoy the lake at Sylvan while looking up at the AMAZING pinnacles. WELL…Boo-hoo... we were too late! So, to make it up to the kids… I decided on a hike. Nana was in need of a serious break from my bunch, and her plan was to take a nap, while we did a 2.8 mile hike. I was pretty sure I’d be crawling back and wheezing… but the kids were dying for a good hike where they could climb the huge rocks surrounding the lake.
THE HIKE… where the day went to the crapper..
About 30 mins in,