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Day 4-Custer State Park

Today was our first true day of Lippincott vacation. We didn’t get out as early as we wanted to, but by 8 we were heading up to Little Devils Tower (elevation 6980). Most of the trail was almost clear cut because of the beetles that have been eating the trees, but the top was awesome. If I don’t have to use my hands and don’t have to lift kids up ledges… it just doesn’t feel like climbing.

We have a simple hiking plan. After assessing a map we go for the trails with the fastest elevation change and the most difficult ratings. We are only here once and want to make sure we see the best stuff ……and the government still keeps stuff pretty easy. Maybe someday, when the kids are older, we can really learn to rock climb.

After Little Devils Tower we hiked over and climbed Harney Peak (elevation 7242). It is the highest peak between the Rockies and some mountains in Europe. On the top there was a stone building built back in 1939 that was really pretty. On the peaks the wind is crazy so the kids have to watch from a seated position far from the edge. Still, they both loved it. With much less fear of heights or major injuries then their mother, they play like they are monkeys and mountain goats with all the actions and sounds included.

After eating a late lunch with my mom and step dad and a ‘falling’ into Sylvan Lake we attacked one last trail for the day. The Sunday Gulch Trail started at 6120 and dropped 600 feet and then came back up. The first 400 or more feet was almost straight down a rocky waterfall face. They had some steps built in and hand rails but it is probably still some of the craziest climbing in the park. The kids had so much fun. Ian will complain about his feet hurting, being hungry, tired, and anything else he can come up with if he has to walk on flat ground, but anything requiring climbing, or bridges gives him all kinds of energy. I joke that he could climb 15 miles with no problem as long as it was straight up.

The bottom was beautiful, all streams, waterfalls and green forest. If it weren’t for the thunder that started about when we started our walk we could have really explored it. As it was, we were moving as fast as we could and managed to just get sprinkled on a few times.

All in all, we covered over 11 miles of difficult trail for the day. Lily walked it all, and Ian walked probably 2/3rds. I think my kids rock! …. Now for an early bedtime.

One Comment

  1. Katy Katy

    Beautiful!!!

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