You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover

After a relatively uneventful drive through Wisconsin and Minnesota, we finally arrived to the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, and what an incredibly beautiful area this is!

Our original plan was to visit Max and Cindy Hammer at their Beaver Lake Campground in Custer, but without a definitive day of arrival we decided not to make a reservation in advance. By the time we called to check their availability, the campground was fully booked and we had to make other arrangements.

With the 4th of July around the corner, finding an open site near Mount Rushmore was not an easy task, but with the help of one of her apps (she carries a couple that are simply a must for any RVer), my amazing navigator Soylamar managed to make a last minute reservation at the Crazy Horse campground.

With a rating of 7 out of 10 stars on appeal, we thought it couldn't be that bad, but as we drove into the place we both agreed that a 7 was 1 or 2 stars too many! At first glance the campground is definitely not that appealing and I told Soylamar we should try another place. However, with a credit card already on hold and not many other options available we had to stay for at least one night. It turns out Crazy Horse is a former KOA campground set on a hill, with a few sites at the top (next to the very busy and noisy highway that leads to Custer from Rapids City), and several sites and KOA-style huts arranged throughout a quiet and beautiful wooded hill. Walking down the hill made all the difference in the world... and if you like peace a quiet, the 7 will quickly jump to a solid 9!

The campground's owner suggested a site away from other RVers with pets, but the choice was ours and we picked the site with the best location and the best view. As an added bonus, we ended up next to a "Casita" RV and two of the most wonderful people we met along our way: Paul and Pat VandenBerge, a delightful couple from Arkansas traveling with a beautiful Shih-Tzu named Tinker. By the end of our second day at Crazy Horse, Paul and I were enjoying Gin and Tonic, Pat and Soylamar were talking about other wonderful places to visit, and our teammate Twister had fallen madly in love with Tinker.

Leaving Crazy Horse and the one and only love he'll probably ever have wasn't easy for Twister, and we agreed we will be visiting Paul and Pat in Arkansas in the near future. We also realized that Crazy Horse is really a great choice if you like peace a quiet, proving once again that you can't judge a book by its cover.

1 Response

  1. Paul VandenBerge
    We're just thankful you kept looking until you found the campsite we were saving for you. It's always nice to meet new friends in far away places, I've spent many days in the Black Hills about 55 years ago when I was going to college in Rapid City, SD,, but it's a little disheartening to find that you don't recognize many landmarks after that length of time.. I guess all things must change for the better over 50 years; but I kinda liked it the way it was back then. As usual, much of the natural beauty is overcome by the commercialism that is imminent. That seems to apply to everything except the Crazy Horse Monument - which hasn't changed a bit, from what I can see, since the 1950's. Tinker really misses Twister, so we're not going to tell her that Twister may be coming to see her some day. She'd get too excited, so we'll surprise here with it when it's on the calendar. We enjoyed our time with you and hope your future camping experiences can be as good. Have Fun, Paul VandenBerge.

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