Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Game Lodge Campground, Custer SD

18-21 July 2016
Lat/Long:  43.760274, -103.4
Location:  Game Lodge Campground, Custer SD
Electric Hook Up:  Yes
Water Hook Up: No, Water fill up in the middle of camp ground
Sewer Hook Up:  No, but located also in the middle of camp ground
WiFi: No
Bathroom:  50+ yard walk
Shower:  Yes
Site:  11E

We took a much needed break from life and escaped to Custer for more then a weekend.  Stayed Monday night thru Thursday morning.  We have an added bonus as Friday afternoon we'll check back into Sheps Canyon for the weekend with friends.  

The campsite is wonderful.  Plain and simple.  Something I've always enjoyed when we are out is meeting people.  Tuesday a BIG, by big I mean GI-NORMICA RV backed into the site next to us.  Thing was huge.  Really nice family of 5 gets out.  I joked with him that he should have gotten the bigger one.  I could tell he was confused by my comment and after talking with him he explained they were from the Netherlands., english was "so-so."  They came to see the States via RV.  I drove him down to the store to get eggs and bacon Tuesday night as their only mode of movement was via "big birtha".  Was just really nice to meet and talk with them.  They brought us fresh made brownies that I'm sure the bakery located within their RV whipped up.
We canoed on Tuesday at Stockade. Had a great time exploring.  Wednesday we just went an sat on the beach as it was close to 100 degrees, so touching the lava hot canoe to get off and on seemed like a bummer and we know we'll get lots of time in this weekend at Angostura.  

Karon has been cooking all the wonderfuls.  We had steak, have had breakfast burritos, cooked hotdogs on fires.  Just a freaking awesome week.  We'll take one night off and stay at the house, play a game or two on our downtown league and then head back out.  

Happy Camping Campers.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sylvan Lake, Custer SD

8-10 July 2016
Lat/Long:  43.8461838, -103.5642992
Location:  Sylvan Lake Campground, Custer SD
Electric Hook Up:  Yes
Water Hook Up: No, Water fill up at camp host site
Sewer Hook Up:  No, Had to go to town to Dump
WiFi: No
Bathroom:  5+ yard walk
Shower:  Yes
Site:  36E

Well, It was nice to be out.  Site 36E is probably the worst site that the Sylvan Lake Campground has to offer.  Now - it wasn't awful - but it wasn't fantastic either.  Fire pit was on the opposite side of the camper, we had a hill on the door side and we were about 5 yards from the bathroom/shower area - so had a bright light shining in during sleep hours.  BUT - we made do.  ;)
We purchased a little visor for the Pod.  What a GREAT addition as the tent room can be a real pain to set up.  The little visor is super easy to set up and is totally self sufficient, no drilling into the POD, no added things necessary.  Totally worth looking into if you are a POD owner and want some easy fast shade.  

Had a nice fire Saturday night, friend came up to meet us for dinner.  We had a delicious steak dinner cooked over the campfire that took us a few tries, a purchase of dry wood and about 55 paper plate burnings - but finally got a good blaze going.

Sylvan Lake had a LOT of traffic, we didn't go down there at all - just hung out, read and watched the fire.  BUT - we will be prepared for the next trip as we purchased a canoe this weekend.  Gonna have bars installed on the 4 Runner and go pick it up Tuesday afternoon.  Super stoked to be able to enjoy MORE of these beautiful hills.

Stockade Lake, Custer SD

18 June 2016
Lat/Long:  43.7647084,-103.5140822
Location:  Custer State Park, Stockade Lake
Electric Hook Up:  Yes
Water Hook Up: No, Water fill up at camp host site
Sewer Hook Up:  No, No Dump Station on Site had to dump in town
WiFi: No
Bathroom:  20+ yard walk
Shower:  Yes
Site:  16A

What a fantastic first start to the season.  Met up with some friends - made a night of it big time.  Steak, potatoes, stories, guitar playing and about 1 ba-zillion laughs.  Camp host was great, retired Navy officer who was very accommodating to us all.  Our friends and two kids didn't have reservations and they graciously let them stay with us which was really nice.  

Pod of course was a dream. We let friends use it the week prior as they were PCS'ing to Texas and needed a place to stay while they were in transition. 

Stockade Lake is GORGEOUS.  The campsites are really well laid out.  A few have really nice rock stove type dwellings.  We didn't get one, but they looked pretty awesome if you lucked out enough to score a site with one.  We will DEF go back there - don't think I saw a bad spot anywhere on the camp ground.  

Gave us an itch to spend more time on the water....thinking of a canoe.....more to follow on that.  

Happy trails campers.  Hope you all are starting your camping seasons with a bang.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sheps Canyon - Hot Springs, SD

21-23 August 2015
Lat/Long:  43.3299771, -103.4440856
Location:  Sheps Canyon Hot Springs, SD
Electric Hook Up:  Yes
Water Hook Up: No, Water fill up at camp host site
Sewer Hook Up:  No, Dump Station on Site
WiFi: No
Bathroom:  10+ yard walk
Shower:  Yes
Site:  20

Holy cow - we have found our MOST favorite SD campsite EVER.  It's Sheps Canyon, site 20.  Sits right on the water - has plenty of space - #itisperfect.  

We arrived late Friday night as I had a commitment on base to attend.  Didn't roll out of town until close to 1900 - arrived just as it was getting pitch black dark out.  But - set up is so easy in this thing.  Broke out the drill, put the stabilizers down, plugged in and went to bed.  Easy peasy.  Have spent almost the entire weekend reading.  Friend recommended book below-finsihed it up this afternoon - what a fantastic read.  Guess there is movie coming out next month with Matt Damon - glad we could read about it before paying 50 bucks to see it on the big screen.  

Sky has been very smokey past few days.  Lots of fires in Washington State and California.  Didn't bother us to much as the wind was terrible pretty much ALL day.  Blew 25-30 mph solid from sun up to sun down.  So we stayed inside and were lazy.  No issues what so ever.  I certainly needed its s I've worked the past 12 days in a row.  Karon pretty much did too as she was with me during the Air Show this past weekend.  This afternoon the sky cleared up quite a bit and now that the sun is down - it's not windy at all.  Definitely cooling down though.  We may have to try the furnace tonight for reals.  

We are REALLY enjoying the new tow vehicle.  It has been a welcomed addition to our outings - in camping and in general use.  Ironically the last time we were at THIS camp ground we got $8200 worth of damage to our Highlander.  Thankfully the only thing we endured was wind this trip.  

Really starting to love this little camper.  It's so super functional at every level.  We realize we do miss the dogs a lot (we've only taken them on two trips).  Lola sure needs to learn how to pee anywhere other then our backyard.  Lord help us if we decide to go cross country and take them.  Poor girl is gonna have MEGA issues...or she'll just get it and start going.  :)

KOA - Custer

26 July 2015
Lat/Long:  43.7417966058563, -103.65444269046
Location:  Custer, SD - KOA
Electric Hook Up:  Yes
Water Hook Up: Yes 
Sewer Hook Up:  YES!
WiFi: Yes
Bathroom:  10+ yard walk
Shower:  Yes
Site:  41

After doing a "three-wolf moon" pack up from Angostura we drove about an hour north to Custer.  I always enjoy Custer, not sure why - think it has a lot to do with the rock formations and abundance of green things.  Reminds us of Colorado a lot.  Our campsite was actually pretty sweet.  Butted up to another campground we've stayed at before - but was quiet and pretty spacious for a KOA.  The site next to us was unusable, so we were able to use it as additional parking - the people behind us were RIGHT up on us - that was a little annoying, but otherwise a very enjoyable stay.  

Our buddies were in town as they attend a balloon rally up there every year.  We've gone out and helped each time we can (twice so far since I've been stationed here).  This year he surprised us - put us both in the basket.  It was absolutely awesome!  I haven't flown in about 10 years so it was fantastic.  Karon has never flown so it was so much fun to watch her reactions to all of it.  

Facilities were really nice - staff was OVER HELPFUL. I got an unwarrented and unneeded tutorial about how when I turn my wheel the trailer will go this way and when I turn the other way it will go this way.....THANK YOU BOBBY - GO AWAY NOW.  Karon and I got a good laugh out of it as he told me to pull forward at one point and "try again hun."  I told him - "I think I got this, I'm gonna keep going - MOVE!"  And I of course landed it on a dime.  Anyway, showers were clean, camp was clean - will DEFINITELY go back! 

Thanks to Karon we ate well - par course for traveling with a  chef.  Can't complain a bit.  We did have to purchase some ketchup from the little on-site store, little expensive--but no complaints-I love me some ketchup!  

Happy camping!   

Angostura Reservoir - Hot Springs, SD

25 July  2015
Lat/Long:  43.345873-103.42202
Location:  Angostura Reservoir State Rec Area (exact campground name coming soon)
Electric Hook Up:  Yes
Water Hook Up: No, Fill up Station at Entrance of Park
WiFi: No
Bathroom:  50+ yard walk, vault toilet
Shower:  Yes, Free

This was a quick stop as we were dead dog exhausted.  We originally had two nights at this campground - but decided to go up to Custer Saturday morning to visit a friend who was in town ballooning.  Best move we could have made as we REALLY enjoyed the KOA we were at and even more so seeing our buddies from C. Springs.  

However, this site was ok.  It was in a valley of sorts - we had expected to be closer to the water then we were - but as you can see from pics it as very wooded.  Sites were evenly spaced and there were only 5-6 campers around us.  

Really though, I hardly remember anything about the campground as we arrived around 1800 and I set up the camper and literally went to bed.  I had a tough week at work, wasn't able to get the camper until Friday night - parked it in the parking lot and then rushed home to load it up.  Slept until 0800 the next morning - we decided to eat and high tail it up to Custer so we could get a shower and set up camp and enjoy the day.  

Apologies as this review is short in nature - overall - nice and quiet.  Perfect for a weekend if your looking to sit by the fire and read for a little bit.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sheps Canyon Rec Area (Hot Springs), SD

19-21 June 2015
Lat/Long:  43.3299771, -103.4440856
Location:  Sheps Canyon Rec Area (Angostura Rec Area), SD
Electric Hook Up:  Yes
Water Hook Up: No, Fill up at Dump Station 
Dump Station:  Yes
WiFi: No
Bathroom:  75 yard walk
Shower:  Yes
Site:  8E
Reserve on web at:

What a great weekend!  Spent the weekend on the other side of Angostura Lake in a little hidden State Park.  Was about an hour and a half drive from Rapid.  We decided not to take the puppies this weekend - we sure missed them, but the freedom was liberating.  

We had great access to the lake and the boat traffic is MUCH quieter then on the other side of the lake.  

Turns out a coworker from base was also camping this weekend.  He and his teenage son were right next to us.  Was a pleasant surprise.  We spent Saturday together with them and rented a canoe, paddle boat and kaiak.  We had a great few hours on the water paddling around.  Got some good sun.  Had dinner with them Saturday evening which was great company after our terrifying weather episode.

There was a HUGE, I mean HUGE storm that came thru Saturday afternoon.  The camp host was driving around letting us all know there was a sever thunderstorm warning.  She wasn't lying.  About 15-20 minutes later we got hit with hail that we've never seen before in our lives.  It hailed golf ball sized hail for about 10 minutes.  Literally felt like we were at a driving range and 10,000 people were hitting golf balls at us.  Camper took NO damage (thank goodness), Highlander DID take quite a bit of hood damage and roof damage.  Just thankful that we're all ok.  

I can definitely see us going back to this spot in the future.  There are some gorgeous waterfront sites that I'm sure are booked months in advance - I'll be eye balling them for the next few weeks to see if any get cancelled so we can get one down by the water.  

Loving this pod - fall more in love with it each time we take it out.  

All for now, see you in a few weeks!