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Grace Coolidge Campground - Custer South Dakota

We pulled into Custer State Park and were particularly excited at our arrival, not because it was necessarily our destination or that we were surprised that we actually made it. It was because it was our turn around point, our halfway point.

I believe that any journey that carries you well outside your comfort zone or is difficult, needs an identifiable halfway point. For me it provides a perspective that helps me evaluate what I am trying to accomplish.

I do that a lot, look for halfway points. It helps me get through tough endeavors and, in a way, helps me appreciate them.

I did that with my development of the whistles, of coarse that means you have to visualize a point of completion, which is critical when focusing on a goal as grand as traveling halfway across the United States or making the loudest whistle in the world. It is, at the same time, a little sad when you consider I also have imagined the halfway point on my marriage, my carriers, my life - and now I am old.

Getting back to our visit to Custer, it was as beautiful as we remembered. The leaves were changing, the air crispy cold and the sky a clear cobalt blue. We stayed at the Grace Coolidge Campground and despite being small and our site a little noisy, (#3 was near the road, #7 would have been nicer) it was great. A large field to the west had deer prancing around in the mornings, small trout lakes circled the area and the bike paths were fantastic.

Speaking of bike paths, one of our favorites was the Grace Coolidge Creek Trail. It runs 3 miles one way from Grace Coolidge Campground to Center Lake. It follows the Grace Coolidge Creek and is amazing. All along the way you are shrouded in trees, encounter trout ponds, granite bluffs and gravely streams that must be crossed and recrossed.

Fording these switchbacks is both challenging and fun. Depending on the depth, you can either carry your bike over one of the narrow 6 inch bridges or simply speed through the water and hope you have the skills to make it through. Twice I found myself having to deal with boots filled with water because I failed to realize you can’t peddle across a creek that is fifteen feet across and and a foot deep. When water rises nearly to your knee, odds are, unless you’re standing on your head, you’re feet will get wet.

I released the rainbow right after the picture

By the way, while in Custer, we visited Wind Cave, which was quite nice.

We also had a wonderful time visiting Gina and Matt and enjoyed their amazing homemade pizza.


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