Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Favorite Campgrounds Revisited

Leaving Wall, we traveled east.  The rolling (still) green hills west of the Missouri  gave way to farmlands.

The harvest was in progress, and a great number of strange (to us) farm implements were processing corn and soybeans.  Often the dust they kicked up in the stiff winds almost made them invisible.

Mid-afternoon, we arrived at one of our favorite parks.  Snake Creek State Recreation Area is located on the banks of Lake Francis Case (aka the Missouri River) about 13 miles west of Platte, SD.  Even though we had two days or drizzly weather while there, we still had a great place to hike with the dogs, a beautiful campsite, 

and a super view out our rear window!

And perhaps best of all,  John didn’t break his arm while we were there!  You will remember that last year we spent a dreary Sunday morning in Platte getting a splint for his arm, then I had to drive part of the way home.

From Snake Creek, we drove south and east to Yankton.  Our campground, Cottonwood Corps of Engineer Park, sits just below Gavins Point Dam, which creates Lewis & Clark Lake on the Missouri River.  Our campsite backed up to Lake Yankton, which we were told was created when the Missouri River was re-channeled. It is a lovely small body of water frequented by ducks and geese and providing a beautiful view at happy hour.

Even better, when we arrived we found that the park was semi-closed.  That is, the rangers drove around to enforce leash laws, but there were no camp hosts or other park personnel on site.  And best of all, sites were free, as was electricity! 

It’s a beautiful park, and one we recommend you visit even if you have to pay the small fee ($9 or $10 with a Senior Pass).  In addition to the great lakeside sites, there are plenty of others shaded by tall cottonwood trees.  All have beautiful, grassy lawns with plenty of space between and nice crushed granite pads and picnic areas.  There is also a bike trail that serves Cottonwood and a couple of other state parks if you want to stretch your legs.  Remember, though, it is a COE park and does not have water and sewer hookups at each site (unless, of course, you happen to get an unoccupied camp host site).

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