Todays goal… not to traumatize my children any further than I had already managed to do with yesterday’s hike.
After letting them sleep in late, we jumped back into the party mobile and back to Sylvan Lake we went, in an attempt to change the memory of this beautiful spot to fun and wonderful.
Being it 4th of July, I wasn’t the only brillant person with this idea, and Custer State Park was jammed full of families doaning their best 4th of July appearal. Everywhere I looked, I saw proud Americans, enjoying their families and celebrating. I couldn’t be happier to have my beautiful family safe and happy, to enjoy such a wonderful day.
We started it out with renting a canoe and enjoying Sylavan Lake and it’s stunning rock formations all around. Of course, having four people in a canoe, mom in back and the teenager in front… it wasn’t as peaceful as I was going for. Even though I clearly said I was the captain of the canoe… MD wasn’t having it. “Mom! On the right.. not the left!” “Is anyone even paddling here or am I the only one doing all the work?, “What are you people doing back there… are you trying to crash us into the rocks?” Geez, MD.. chill out….you little %#@*
Seeing the pictures.. you can’t hear us… which is probably a good thing.
After grabbing lunch at the general store, I talked my mom into a hike around the lake so that the kids could climb the rocks and she could experience the beauty. It would have been amazing for EVERYONE, if the information on the trail was given from the perspective of someone with bad knees. Oh Lord, did I get in trouble for making her go on this hike. It was pretty moderate the whole time, except one area… and that area was stressful and scary for mom. This did solidify if she would go on any more hikes with us…
Once we made it around the lake we found the kids. They had climbed up into the huge rocks surrounding the lake and looked like a bunch of baboons on Baboon Island at Brookfield Zoo! All Sweet Brooks wanted to do all day was climb up into a big rock and read…. and that’s exactly where we found him!
When we started the hike, I asked if they would want to swim at the beach on the other side of the lake, all three said nah… I should havelistens to my “Mom Voice”. As soon as they saw kids jumping from the rocks, into the water, they wanted their suits from the car… which was parked ACROSS THE LAKE.
After we got our suits on, you know me…., it was right up to the rocks. . MD wanted to jump off. Brooks was like,”Hell No!”, and Bess was like,”Can I mommy…please??” Only MD was allowed, and after all that bravo, he stood in the rock edge contemplating his decision. It didn’t take long… because a 7 yr old got up there too… and just leaped off. On this kid’s second trip to the edge, he asked MD, ”Well, are you gonna go or not?” I had to smile as a mom and a woman… there was no way this man/boy was gonna let some 7 yr old up-start him.
So, off he went… and cheers all around from his cheerleading squad (me and Bess). He wanted the share the fun and immediately started into,”Come on mom… you got to do this!!!” It took a good 3 mins of prodding and I agreed…. so off I went!
What a fun, FREEZING , experience!! We swam a bit more and then headed back to town for some ice cream and rocks!
Custer is an adorable town, and they currently have Bison on Parade. We posed a bit and took our official 4th of July pictures. … can’t be a slacker, just because we’re out of town!!!
We stopped at a this wonderful rock shop just outside of town, that Brooks had been requesting to stop at since arriving and was so blessed with the nicest man helping us! He answered all of Brooks’ questions, surprising me with his vast rock knowledge (Brooks) and the man showed him how to pick out a good Geo (to make sure it had crystals within). It was such a wonderful, loving experience for Brook and Bess and they bonded over their rocks for the rest of the evening.
Back to the Mystic Inn, we pulled up to find a motorcycle gang of senior bikers. They were lined up against the motel, sitting and drinking beers staring out at the highway. My first thought, “Oh, crap.. this might get weird.”, then ...“ Maybe mom will ride off into the sunset with one of them!” Later I found out they had some thoughts when we pulled in too.. on my kids and my Illinois licence plate (damn liberals).
You know the phase,”Never judge a book by its cover?” Yeah, God reminded me of it this night too. Mr. Dan, a hardcore Trump supporter, wearing a Trump inaugural hat and red, white and blue “I ❤️ Thrump socks… turned out to be a big softy Grandpa missing being a grandpa. He just loved and loved on Brooks and Bess all night long, helping them toast marshmallows and chatting away with them. His friends and my family sat around a campfire talking and enjoying the fireworks. Afterwards, I got some much needed conversation from other humans, than the 4 I was traveling with. We peacefully shared our views about American, gun control and the current cultural climate. We talked about of families and raising kids…. it was a lovely night of fellowship, fireworks and s’mores.
GOD BLESS AMERICA...
What a wonderful day…