We’re in Hill City, South Dakota, near Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument. Also near the famous wild west town of Deadwood and the Black Hills. We visited Deadwood today, where we saw the graves of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane at Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Tom and Huck enjoyed watching a fake gunfight between sheriff Seth Bullock and some outlaws. All in all it was a nice stopping point on our drive from Casper, Wyoming to Hill City.
We arrived at the KOA campground in Hill City late this afternoon. Hill City has a population of about 700, and Custer, the next town over, has a population of 1,300. The Hill City KOA where we’re staying has a population of about 3,000 on any given day. I do not have extensive experience camping, but this is the biggest campground I have ever seen. There are over 600 spots for RVs, tent campers, or those wishing to stay in KOA’s small, one bedroom cabins.
Sounds awful, doesn’t it? The truth is that it is amazing. Off. The. Hook. (Sorry for the slang.) If you’re camping with kids, this is the place to stay. It has horseback riding, bike rentals, CAR rentals, two stores, two restaurants, and an ice cream parlor. There is a large playground for the kids, a mini-golf course, two swimming pools, a waterslide, a hot tub, and a “jumping pillow” ( a 100 foot long canvas filled with air for kids to bounce around.) Oh, and did I mention the hot showers and laundromat?
I’m sorry to disappoint any of you who think camping should be about being as close to nature as one can get, without the distractions of daily life. But this is my kind of camping. It’s beautful here, nestled among the mountains near Mt. Rushmore, with lots of trees and grassy meadows. But it’s nice to be able to wash clothes and shop for groceries without leaving the premises.