“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver
Of our seven day vacation, we spent three nights and four days using a cabin at the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park as our home base. We heard about this place from other families who recommended it as a good alternative to a motel. This way we could stay in the actual park without camping (something I think our family is unlikely to do) and besides, would a cabin really be worse than the Fairfield Inn we had just experienced?
The cabin was fine, but, it was definitely rustic! Here’s a shot of the bigger room:
There was daily housekeeping and the cabin is clean with things in good working order. But, at one point, my husby who is even more of a city slicker than I, said half-joking, “it makes me long for the Hampton Inn,” where we stayed on the way. We could’ve stayed in the main lodge instead, but I figured if we were going to do this thing, we’d really do it! Besides, at the lodge we wouldn’t wake up to this:
Or to this:
And, we had a tasty dinner at Sylvan Lake Lodge, another lodge in the park. I had some of the local walleye and my husband had the roast pheasant, both were really good! A welcome break from the fast food fare on roadtrips.
The other activity I’d recommend is the chuckwagon dinner run out of Bluebell Lodge. It is a hayride in a covered wagon along the park trail with a genuine cowboy entertainer,
Ending at a clearing in the field where other cowboys have prepared a dinner of grilled steak and burgers, baked beans, corn bread, and other fixings. It was a lot of fun for the kids and got us fed and entertained without too much more car time. And at this point in the vacation we definitely didn’t need more car time!
All in all, I’m glad we decided to see this part of the country. Our national parks and monuments are so special, and we’re already talking about what we’d like to see next. I’m not sure how much the kids are really getting out of it, but we can tell they’re having fun, so I consider this vacation a success!