This post was written by a student from Wisconsin, Ben K., who wrote this piece about their family road trip to South Dakota for a reader/writer class. Thanks for sharing with us Ben! We added a few photos to help illustrate Ben’s trip.
RV’s are for Cowards
“We’re here!” Our road trip from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin to South Dakota was a blast. We drove a 30′ long RV into the wilderness crawling with bus-wide spiders. In spite of that, it’s probably the most amazing state out of the 50 of them. Parking the RV was no problem, but the cranky neighbors were. The driving days were long and dreary, but stopping at the expensive treasure shops along the side of the road made up for all the sleeping up in the 5″ long bed above the cockpit.
“Wall Drug” was one of the hundreds of stores we stopped at. Excitement burst in me when I ventured through the front door of that enormous, old, and decorated district. This was way better than the large RV we risked our lives in every second with the problems like gas leaks set us back. The walls of this amazing place were covered in toy guns and Indian/cowboy weapons from the 1800’s – everything a kid under 10 dreamed of. As I walked to the next room, I could see many animal decorations that you would put on your porch or hang outside. “Boring!!!” said my brother, Max. Obviously, Max and I each had to get a gun or else our trip would be ruined.
Later that day I shouted, “Hey Mom, were here,” as we pulled up to a short shack that a huge man with a beard, probably didn’t have anything else to do, was working. “Welcome to Custer’s Park Camping Grounds. Now give me my 50 bucks,” said the man. Soon I learned his name was Stevie Realens. That was my favorite part of the trip; just kidding. There were far more exciting parts to the trip.
As we were driving towards the main building at our campground, Max and I spotted a tiny room with original Atari games like “Pac-man” and “Asteroids”. Once our parents deposited all of the “unnecessary fluids and solids,” we rushed as fast as our 12 year-old legs would take us. We spent about a total of about 50 dollars on a game called “Stacker.” You had to stack one virtual block on top of each other while they moved faster and faster across the screen. I wish we could have this game in the RV, I thought. That would brighten up the long days. As a prize, I got a camera that had horrible pixilation when you took the picture. “Best prize ever,” I said sarcastically.
Bear Country U.S.A. was one of our many destinations. We left our heavy RV at our campground and took a rental car. You could drive through the small park with bears scratching themselves against the side of your car. The most amazing sight to see was the bear who was sitting on a log just like a human would. It was hilarious. Max and I would take our fake guns, that we had snuck in, and would pretend the bears where monstrous beasts that we had to kill. Then we took so many pictures. I thought my smile would stay forever.
Custer State Park was a goal we had planned to reach while soaring through South Dakota. At amazing heights, we could see everything. I felt as if I were closer to God or heaven. Puh Puh Puh. “You had to bring that gun, Max!!!” Puh Puh Puh. “You just ruined the most beautiful moment of my life,” I screamed. I could hear my echo go miles and miles farther away from me. It took it away my energy for the hike we would have to go through next. The mountains in the distance looked like small hills from where we were standing. After hiking down; tripping and falling, we took a dive in a crystal clear Lake Sylvan. There were rocks out in the middle of the lake which we could rest upon. Custer State Park was the journey of a lifetime.
While we were heading home, we saw a couple with an RV. It started to pour rain. A few minutes later, hail fell down from the sky and made dents in our car. We really wanted to help the poor people, but we had a schedule we were on. The whole rest of the night, we though and made up stories about how the couple we had met earlier were doing.
After our treacherous adventure up to the top of the mountain unknowingly driving in our RV, we have learned never to drive an RV up a narrow road to Custer State Park when it is muddy… or moist… or if you riding along with dangerous spiders.
By Ben K., student from Wisconsin