Previous visits to the Black Hills included hotel stays because we weren't sure which campgrounds to take a crack at. This time we took the leap and booked a cabin inside of Custer State Park. The campground we picked was wow. At only $50 a night (sleeps 5!, has electric, AC, heat, firepit) it blew me away.
When we finally arrived the first night, it was raining full-out.
We stayed inside and enjoyed a few cider beers (gluten free!) while we waited out the rain. We were starving, but wanted to eat off of the fire so badly. We watched a few whitetail does wander through the campground as well, flicking their cute ears as the raindrops landed on them.
Finally around 8pm, the rain stopped and the clouds parted - literally. The sun came out just long enough to set shadows across the mountain in front of our cabin.
The fire took a bit because of the humidity, but between his Jedi skills, my girlscout training (yes I did just say that), and a friendly neighbor's lighter fluid, we were finally in business. And my husband was entirely in his element, and smiling.
I prepared foil dinners before we left the house with steak, red potatoes, mushrooms, and snap peas inside. After 15-20 minutes on the fire grate, they were ready and smelled so good that we were worried the mountain lions would creep out of the woods to eat with us.
We used pine needles from the ground in the fire. The smell is whole and clean, with a hint of rosemary.
In addition to regular marshmallows, I brought organic, gluten-free marshmallows for myself. Without any artificial ingredients, they tend to caramelize when heated. Which means they are like a creme brulée explosion in your mouth. Which also means that Bryon at mine instead of his. And I ate 4. But who's counting?
The nights dropped to about 45 degrees. We shared two sleeping bags zipped together on a full size mattress in the cabin, and it was perfect. I'm all about the snuggling and chest hair. Our cabin was within easy walking distance of the shower house, too.
We did discover we'd forgotten the coffee maker the next morning, but we survived.
I'm sorry we waited so long to camp together. It was really fun!