Wednesday, August 1, 2012

South Dakota, Camping Style, part 2: Sunday Sunday

We had to overcome some wardrobe malfunctions Sunday morning.  Benji's slacks were missing the main button, and root beer got spilled on my shirt when Ben was ironing it.  (that's right, ladies.  The Man of this House does the ironing.) I don't wear makeup when I'm camping so I didn't bring any, but I wished I had some for church.  We looked a little rag-tag, but the important thing was to go.

 Sunday morning we found a meeting house.  --One nice thing about our church is that all the chapels look about the same and it is a good bet that Sunday meetings will start at 9 a.m. But if you don't like uncertainty, you can find the address and meeting time online.  After Sacrament meeting, where we were treated to an excellent talk about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, we reassured each other that appreciating God's creations with your family was OK for a Sunday activity and we headed for Custer State park to find our campsite.

Dinosaur Park in Rapids City

We set up camp near Sheridan Lake, in the midst of hundreds of Ponderosa Pine Trees.  I've always loved how they seem to be reaching towards Heaven--so straight and tall.

Normally when we camp, I do most of the cooking in a dutch oven.  I like this because I can basically throw all the ingredients in and leave it for 45 minutes-1 hour and viola! Dinner.  However, South Dakota was under a burn ban so we couldn't cook with firewood or charcoal; only gas stoves on a hard surface were allowed.  For lunch we ate Taco Salad.  I precooked the hamburger at home and vacuum sealed it.  So when we got to camp, I broke out the propane stove and we had taco salad in the time it takes to heat a can of refried beans.  There are pros to gas cooking and speed is #1.

After lunch we drove through the beautiful Black Hills to see Mount Rushmore. 
Benji wants his face carved on a mountain someday.

It was fun to go through the little museum and learn how rock was removed from the mountain.  There was also a slide show of pictures of the mountain taken at different times of day and in different seasons.  George Washington looks especially distinguished with snow in his hair.
As you can see, we had plenty of cheese.

Also, plenty of energy.  (And don't miss Benji's shuffle-step in the background.)
For dinner we had parmesan pasta (with chicken I had precooked and vacuum packed) and fresh fried zucchini.  The kids loved it!

All the kiddie pies begged to go swimming, but that's definitely not on my Sunday appropriate activities list, so  we went for a family walk along the lake shore instead.  It was beautiful and peaceful. 

I tried out the new trekking poles that the Man of the House had insisted on buying for me.  I was skeptical about carrying something extra around to trip myself with, but when I tried them, I could quickly tell that they were improving my balance.  It was a lovely walk.  After it got too dark to see, we went to bed-- with no showers because there was no plumbing at this campground.  Only pit toilets for bathrooms and a spigot down the path for getting water.  The girls made the mistake of being curious about what is in a pit toilet and looking down there.  I think they learned the valuable lesson that ignorance is bliss.  Holy Cow! I just realized I'm talking about toilets on my blog again. 


  1. Sounds like an awesome trip, can't wait to read the rest of it.

  2. I'm glad the man of the house irons with a can of root beer in his hand. Also, a question--the meat you vacuum sealed you had to keep cold? or no? I want to go camping with you.

  3. It was partially frozen and I kept it in the cooler. I'm not sure if it had to be kept cool or not. I need to do more research. I know that if it hadn't been vacuum sealed I wouldn't have dared use it because it didn't stay cool enough the whole time.