The Ingles Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota was the final stop on our epic Dakotas trip. We had already visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, Devils Tower in Wyoming, and The Great Eight in western South Dakota. Our family has enjoyed the Little House series over the last couple of years. Lillian has been such a fan of the series that her grandma made her a pioneer girl dress and she wore it for a presentation she put together on Laura Ingalls Wilder during second grade. This was a highly anticipated stop on our trip for Lillian. Did it live up to her expectations?
We made reservations several months in advance as there are only four RV sites, four covered wagon cabins, one deluxe cabin, and a field available for tent campers. The RV sites offer 20/30 amp electric and water, a picnic table and fire pit, and a few trees offering some shade.
We arrived at the Homestead mid-day after learning that we should plan to spend three to four hours exploring the site. We backed into our site and set up camp. We were overnighting, so we stayed hooked up to the 4Runner and kept the bikes, screen room, and awning put away. We fired up the a/c, set up camp chairs, the little red campfire, and started dinner in the Instant Pot. Then we were off to explore the Homestead.
We wrapped up our official tour of the Homestead with a visit to the gift shop and walked over to our campsite as the Homestead’s visitors and employees left for the day. Our favorite part of the day may have been the evening as the campers took over. Lillian and Mitchell played with the other kids on the playground while we got dinner ready. After dinner, we walked the grounds where the kids played with kittens near the barn. We met interesting fellow campers and enjoyed a great sunset over the prairie. As the day wrapped up, we enjoyed a fire near our little Cricket on the prairie.
Early the next morning, we packed up and made the long journey home, reflecting on our journeys across the Dakotas and planning future adventures. What’s next? Stay tuned to Cricket Camping as we visit a location known for its 143 degree water!
Shane and Jessica
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