Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bear Lodge Cruise

6.12 Bear Lodge District
Getting out and about with a Little One isn't as easy as we thought it was going to be. We thought we'd try our first outing today and head into Wyoming to the Bear Lodge District of the Black Hills.

It's an area that's quite close but far enough away that we haven't explored it like the Northern Black Hills. We packed up and headed west. When we got to Sundance, we headed towards Devils Tower but instead of staying on the highway, we opted for the first dirt road we could find.

The sun was shining and it was a perfect day. Not too hot, no Wyoming wind. Sometimes we forget how beautiful the Bear Lodge District is. It seems that there are more aspens, more sunflowers, and somehow, just as much wildlife.

6.12 Bear Lodge Aspens
We took the road that goes to Cook Lake. Since we had never been there it seemed like the perfect time to explore. There were hardly any people on the road (most people prefer the direct route to the Tower) and we had all day.

We didn't hear a peep out of Eli as we enjoyed our ride. Eventually we made our way to Cook Lake. Not only is it a serene little lake surrounded by hills and forest, it has hiking trails and a campground. Since, our camping expeditions for the next few years will be predominantly front-country, we made a mental note and both agreed that we'd like to come back to this area. Maybe for our first family camping trip.

6.12 Cook Lake Campground
After stopping to stretch and feed Eli we jumped back into the Jeep and cruised on. It felt amazing to be on an adventure with our family. We couldn't help but reflect on how much we had changed and grown and on the fact that we now had a little person of our own.

The wildlife was on the move and there were more does with their fawns than we could count. It was spectacular. It has been a particularly good year for the deer and I've enjoyed watching them more than usual. 

After enjoying our time out on the dirt roads we decided to head back towards Sundance. It had been a successful first adventure with our little boy and it helped us to realize that we can still do what we love- it will just take a bit of adjusting. In all, it had been a memorable day.

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