Hot Springs, South Dakota

Hey there,

It’s hard to believe this little place exists.  With such a small population and with tourism as their main source of income, I see this place as a little gem which most would just drive through and not stop.  It would be a true miss in discovering the beauty of the Black Hills National Forest.  Known for it’s hot springs, the town has a walk along the creek/ spring where the water is warm and clear.  The town is small with a lot of charm, between the wonderful people at Big Time Pizza letting me sneak in Sofie on the patio so I could eat, the speakeasy where the place was chill and fun to the pet store lady who has aussies herself, the people in the town are just as helpful and nice as the KOA management team who helped me find Big Pizza, helped with getting me into the RV site and most importantly kept checking to make sure I was good.

When deciding to stay in Hot Springs for a couple days, I went to their visitor website to see what they had going on.  As a treat to myself, I signed up for a photo tour with wild mustangs.  A rare opportunity to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals.

So during the day, Sofie and I drove partially through Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park.  This is where I think to myself and say, I should have known better as Sofie is protective especially when in comes to – ummm – buffalo.  So of course, I am in Custer State Park and we come across some beautiful buffalo in the distance, no problem, Sofie is fine… Then we drive a bit more and the buffalo are closer, I of course am excited to get some pictures, Sofie – not so much.  I pretty much gave her a heart attack a couple times.  When I saw a pretty big herd and realized I couldn’t really turn around and Sofie was just barking like crazy, I did what any normal person would do, turn around in the middle of the road with about 50-80 buffalo around us watching us.  The buffalo were beautiful though, many new babies to see and protectant mothers, all slightly spoiled by the protection of Sofie.  She was either trying to protect me or herd them, I wasn’t sure I just know the windows were up and I hoped the buffalo didn’t hear how loud she was, I of course had ringing in my ears for a while.   Knowing this was probably causing anxiety for both of us, I went back to camp to relax before my photo tour.

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As I was there, two new RV campers came.  Two couples and a guy, the guy looked younger and of course pretty good looking.  He came to meet Sofie right away, and they played for a bit, of course I was the one just saying, her name and how old she is and what breed she was, the typical stuff, trying to not look at him too closely as he had beautiful blue eyes and a German accent.

Experiencing this rare opportunity to see wild horses, mustangs some of them, rescued horses and new foals in one place, was breathtaking.  Hopefully the pictures say enough.  If you wish to donate, as they survive by donations, the site is – wildmustangs.com

When I arrived back, I let Sofie out and the cute German came by to pet her and asked if he can give her some bones he saved for her.  Seriously, blue eyes, just the right height, cute, and saves treats for my dog.  I think Sofie would have gone home with him if I let her.  We ended up talking for a while and listened to his story.  It was a really nice evening sharing stories of Bielefeld, Germany, working, wine, a camp fire and a kiss at the end of the night.

Of course when I got into my camper, I totally did the happy dance and almost screamed in joy as that was the first kiss in… well… a long time, crazy long time… Like – its shameful to admit… So I won’t to protect you all.

The next morning, we said goodbye to the German squad and I started to figure out how to back up – uphill on gravel perfectly to connect my camper within a centimeter of the hitch ball.  I was dreading that since I unhitched and was fully prepared to go to the KOA team and ask for help… I wanted to try first, and I did with only about 4 corrections, I was dead on… I am getting good at this. 🙂

Off to Custer (40ish mile drive) and meeting my parents.

Love you always,

me

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