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We were excited to be spending the 4th of July at Center Lake Campground in Custer State Park. We enjoyed a big breakfast and spent the morning relaxing. I took a walk down to the lake to check out the beach. It was crowded as I expected but very pretty. I found a shady spot to sit and dip my feet in the cool water. When I got back to camp, Francis had talked to some neighbors about a good spot on the lake to launch our kayak which sounded like a good plan to me.

We drove to the recommended spot, got the kayak inflated and were out on the lake in no time. It was a beautiful afternoon and a very easy lake to navigate. So easy, in fact, that Francis did all the paddling and I got to just put my feet up and enjoy myself. The kayak is big and takes up a fair amount of space in the jeep so we had briefly considered leaving it behind. Francis convinced me we would regret it if we did and I think he was right. We headed back to shore when the sky started to darken a bit. Rain was in the forecast and we did not want to get caught in it.

With the kayak deflated and packed up, we made our way back to camp. The storm did come through but the tent was a comfortable place to wait it out. When the skies cleared, we grilled our steaks with some veggies on the portable grill we brought with us. Everything came out delicious. Why is it that everything tastes better grilled?

With dinner cleaned up, it was time to take a drive on Wildlife Loop Road. We had been told that the chances of seeing animals on this road were very high especially in the early morning and evening so we had been looking forward to it all day. We were not disappointed. We saw many white tailed deer, a huge herd of bison making their way to their home for the night, and several of the park’s burros. The bison crossed right in front of our car and the burros came right up to the car windows. Although the road was only 18 miles long, we were gone for a couple of hours because we stopped so often for photos and videos.

All in all, a fantastic day!