Black Hills, South Dakota

Creekside Mountain Resort

June 1, 2021

🎶 On the road again! 🎶

After Putz’n Around the Denver area for more than a month (getting married, and whatnot), it was finally time for us to hit the road once more and embark on our long-awaited honeymoon to... South Dakota!? As mentioned at the end of the previous post, we had originally planned on honeymooning in Costa Rica but a few things had changed in the world since we made those initial plans and we were forced to head back to the drawing board. After considering that we wanted to tour the Midwest over the summer, we figured that we should look for a location in that general direction. Thus, our options were basically South Dakota, Nebraska, or Kansas and after about five seconds of consideration, we ended up settling on the former. Thankfully, we ended up thoroughly enjoying our time in South Dakota and I’d say that we would even put it in the upper echelon of our favorite states!

Although, we would’ve preferred a shorter drive to mark our return back to the nomad lifestyle, the 6-7 hour trip to the Black Hills (southwestern corner of South Dakota) was quite manageable. And once safely in the Black Hills, we made our way to our campground – the Creekside Mountain RV Resort. To call this place a “resort” is a bit of a stretch. In reality, it was a collection of about a dozen gravel campsites located right off a two-lane highway. But after doing this RV thing for this long, we aren’t too picky. Plus, we barely spent any time in the rig while we were there, and even then, we were usually knocked out cold after a long day of exploring!

The first of these excursions came on the night of our arrival. Since our campground was located right around the corner from Mount Rushmore, we opted to bang it out right away.

TRIGGER ALERT: HOT TAKE INCOMING!

I can’t speak for Sam on this one, but I was thoroughly unimpressed with Mount Rushmore. While I will acknowledge that a sculpture of this size is a helluva engineering feat, its enormity is arguably exaggerated by some of the more commonly seen photos out there. After walking around for about 30 minutes, we had basically seen all that Mount Rushmore had to offer and began making our way back to the truck – hardly worth the 20 bucks that we paid to park (apparently, our America the Beautiful Pass only covers “admission” to national parks and monuments, not “parking” – of course 😑).

If I could go back in time, I would save the time/money that we spent at Mount Rushmore and just do a google image search. It would have basically given us the same effect.

Should’ve known better than to get excited about visiting a monument to politicians...

With our lone full day in the Black Hills, we chose to take in some of the area’s natural beauty and made our way into Custer State Park to tackle the Black Elk Peak Loop Trail, one of the most highly reviewed hikes in the area.

As we’ve learned throughout our adventures together, these five star hikes are usually rated so highly for a reason, and this trail was no exception. From the long views out onto the plains during the first half of the hike, to the 360-degree panoramas from the abandoned fire tower at the top of Black Elk Peak, the vistas along this trail were top notch! After going months without a good hike, we couldn’t have picked a better trail to get back into the swing of things and get our booties working again!



The hike wore us out, but we still wanted to check out some of the historical attractions before we were scheduled to leave the next day. After a quick nap and a shower we were back in the truck and making our way to the infamous frontier town of Deadwood.

Although we were only in Deadwood for a few hours, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Once in town, our first stop was the No. 10 Saloon. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because this rough-n-tumble bar marks the location where the notorious Wild Bill Hickok was ruthlessly murdered by the coward Jack "Crooked Nose" McCall in 1876. After securing a few adult sarsaparillas from the bar, we made our way to the back of the joint to enjoy a fun little reenactment of this now-famous crime. At first, we were a little dismayed by our poor views of the show, thinking that we had missed out on a rare event. However, we quickly learned that reenactments like this are comically common procurance in Deadwood with mock shootouts regularly erupting in the saloons and in the streets.

After finishing up our drinks, we made our way upstairs to the steakhouse located above the No. 10 Saloon and enjoyed a great dinner. Once we were thoroughly stuffed, we made our way back out onto the street where we enjoyed a few more reenactments and other touristy stops before heading back to the trailer to get some much-needed sleep.

Tune in next time when we embark on the second leg of our South Dakota honeymoon and make our way to the Badlands, and arguably, our best campsite of them all!