Camping in the Big Horn
We had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Big Horn National Park almost by accident. On one of our summer road trips, we were en route from Harney Peak, the high point of South Dakota, to Yellowstone National Park and needed a place to spend the night. Online I happened upon the South Fork Campground in the Big Horn, in the area of Buffalo, Wyoming, which was just about where we wanted to spend the night. Seeing it as a means to an end, we reserved a site near the river and the bathrooms, not realizing it would mean a bit more to us than a place to sleep.
It was after a stressful travel day that we pulled into the campground. The traffic was heavy, kids were crabby, snacks were getting sparse and clouds were rolling in. All in all, not our best day on the road. We pulled in and were immediately greeted by the campground hosts, who showed us quickly to our site as the rain clouds were getting thicker. We were still tent camping back in those days, so all four of us jumped out of the Durango and scrambled to get the tent up before the skies opened up.
When the tent is half set up, sprinkles begin. We increase our pace, hurrying to get the poles in place and the rain fly attached, as the roof of our tent is all screen (nice for seeing the stars overhead; not so terrific in the rain!). After this task is accomplished, we decide to pull out the camp chairs and sit and relax a bit in the screen kitchen of our tent while the rain subsides. This is getting a bit better. We begin to relax.
Shortly thereafter the rain stops altogether, and we are able to build a fire. I begin preparing out Tuscan stew for dinner and we sit and watch the fire as the stew bubbles gently in the pot. We can hear the river (creek) singing merrily right past our campsite and the kids are thrilled to be out of the car and scrambling around on the banks of the creek while waiting to eat. It is a beautiful evening and after our stressful day of travel and tension, we finally find peace.
The morning finds me the first one up. I make a pot of coffee and head for the water with my cup. I am able to spend 15 silent minutes, listening only to the creek, while the entire campground slumbers around me. It is a wondrous start to my day and the remainder of our trip. If we ever pass that way again, we will seek out the South Fork Campground and Site #3.
Read more about Wyoming campgrounds and things to do in Wyoming.