Going from the desolate but beautiful Badlands to the Black Hills National Forest was quite a change. Somewhere between the Badlands and the nearby Hills, the weather changed from dry and hot to chilly and rainy. We only planned to spend one night camping in the Black Hills before we left for Yellowstone, and this turned out to be a good plan when we ended up sleeping in the car because of the rain. But let me tell this story from the beginning.
We entered the Black Hills and went to a campsite by a lake. The cute old lady working at the gate told us that there were a few tent-only sites and a real flushing toilet! She also informed us that, due to Sturgis, every other campground had raised their prices but this particular site had not, and they were still just $21. 21 dollars?! Yeah, right. As cute as this little old cat lady was, she was a deceiver. Her family had probably disowned her for being a lying, cheating granny and that’s why she is working (AKA living!) at this campsite. So Weston and I retraced our steps to the visitor’s center, and found our guardian angel working behind the desk. And by this I mean a precious chubby park ranger with all the good info.
“Head on down this road and turn at the ghost town till you get to this campsite” as he showed us on a local map. He told us we could camp there for free. We thanked him so much and headed on our little way. Deep into the Black Hills we drove. We took a slight detour on our way to our campsite when we read a brochure about some sort of Crazy Horse statue not too far away. We showed up, got some visitors literature and told them politely that we were not going to pay 20 bucks to see an unfinished gigantic statue of the legendary Crazy Horse that we could just as easily see from the road. Haha, we got the best of them. We finally got back on task and headed down curvy roads to find a ghost town campground called “Castle Creek” supposedly. I say supposedly because it was in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t know our guardian angel was sending us to do some remote camping in the backwoods of SD.
We were very pleased with our campsite, A. because it was free and B. because it was remote and quite. We frolicked in the woods for a bit before deciding not to set up camp because it was going to ran all night anyway. We absolutely loved our night in the Black Hills and hope to return sometime in the future.
Um……..it was pretty cold that night.
The next morning we woke up tired and sore from sleeping in the car. We made a quick breakfast: peanut butter toast, banana and tea. When we drove out of the Black Hills we got to drive through the historic town of Deadwood, which was a pretty little mining town near Sturgis.
It was almost August and the Sturgis gathering was in the air. We saw tons of bikers and, my personal favorite, biker chicks! How ever nice South Dakota was to us, we were ready for a real taste of the West. Our next stop, Yellowstone NP. Coming very soon ……..I hope!