Technically, South Dakota was not our first stop as full timers. Our first overnight stop was at a Wallmart in Waterloo, Iowa, parked next to eight kids from the bay area, living in a school bus and traveling the United States. Our first official campground stop was in Custer, South Dakota during a blizzard. But lets start from the beginning.
We left a warm and sunny Columbus, OH on May 6, 2015 as "full timers". With us, we carry "Buford" our 150 pound St. Bernard, and all of our worldly possessions (which have been whittled down to 6 rubbermaid containers). We're thinking our first long term destination will be Fairbanks, Alaska. We have a handful of stops planned along the way, including Glacier National Park, Banff, jasper, the Yukon ect.
We are currently in Custer, South Dakota, where it is 28 degrees and 14'' of snow is expected tonight. There is a huge storm heading up from Colorado and there is nowhere we can head west to avoid it. So, we took advantage of the situation and checked out some underground caves that are always a comfortable 52 degrees. Custer was chosen as our camping spot because of its close proximity to several parks, caves and monuments. We had the opportunity to visit the Badlands and Mount Rushmore in the past, so we wanted to spend time checking out other features S.D has to offer. Saturday, we visited Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park. Both caves have highly complex underground tunnel systems, and the hour and a half tours only took us through about 10% of the discovered portions of the caves. The awesome part about visiting these parks during their "off season" is no lines and plenty of parking! We were told by another couple that during the summer, you can expect to wait 2 hours or more for an available tour time of the caves. We were fortunate enough to be visiting during a blizzard and got right in.
Our second day was spent exploring Custer State Park and Sylvan Lake. The snow covered most of the trails, with some of the snow reaching up to our waists. The sun came out Monday morning and we were able to get back on the road towards Montana and Glacier National Park!