I had made reservations at a Jellystone Park, as these were the lil one’s favorite after staying at one in Texas on a weekend camping trip in a tent during the summer. We were expecting to stay busy with all their activities the campground normally plans, for the busy travel season. When making these plans we had visions of sitting in the hot tub, bouncing on the pillow, playing putt-putt, evening hayrides meeting the neighbors; and on special weekends zooming down a CHOCOLATE slip-n-slide, who wouldn’t love THAT?!?!
We couldn’t wait to get there and when we did, boy what a surprise it was. The date being 2 weeks prior to Memorial day never dawned on me until that moment. Our being new to RV’ing is what I’ll blame this one on, you see Memorial Day is the day when most campgrounds kick off their Summer activities, and not a day earlier. If you’re thinking ‘What could go wrong now?’, well thank you for paying attention and noticing that we very often seem to have some of the worst luck possible.
We pulled in and the first thing in our vision is of course the big Yogi Bear photo op statue with nothing but a drained pool that is being repaired behind it. We looked around and the bouncing pillow was deflated, the golf course was closed, the hot tub was also drained; nothing like we have envisioned for our first weekend in South Dakota. While getting checked in they did let us know that on request we could get the bouncing pillow blown up in a matter of minutes if the lil one wanted, that made the day a little brighter, but the hot tub was out of the question.
It didn’t take too long to set up, knowing it was only going to be a weekend stay, I knew what needed to be unpacked and what we could live without. My dream is to eventually get the whole rig down to only the things we can’t live without, and that is why I call it a dream, forever out of my reach. Learning that the park was not operating at 100% we had to plan the day, actually plan the day; Yogi wouldn’t be hosting crafting hour and puppet shows this weekend to entertain the lil one. Us being us, the tourists that we are, this wasn’t very hard to do. The locals suggested going to Falls Park to see the waterfalls Sioux Falls is famous for, the Great Plains Zoo was close by, open, and it was a nice day outside; seems tomorrow was planned in a matter of minutes.
After getting the dog walked and the bellies full, we settled in for the night. Being that we were still in the ‘off-season’ the park was empty and very quiet, it made for very peaceful rest. This is the double edged sword you walk choosing where to stay and what season to be there in. For all the fun family activities, the squeals/screams of kids as they play well beyond dark around the blazing campfire as the parents move onto their liquid diet, you have to put up with people all around, all the time. For the peace, quiet and solitude on the side of a lake with only 3 kids total in the whole campground that have bedtimes, you have to get off the beaten path, as the lil one’s parents like to do. The parents just don’t always get their wish and we have to visit these tourist traps every now and then to keep the tranquility.
Until Next Time…..
When using a public campground, a tuba placed on your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side vacant. ~Author Unknown