First day of year 2021 must be celebrated in some remote, secluded and quiet place, that was the plan. We wanted to enjoy the time in outdoors while avoiding crowd. Just 3 days before the new year’s day, we decided to go for cabin-camping.
We searched the state parks near Omaha first, but all were pre-booked. Then we widened our search area to Nebraska state, that too in vain. You can’t expect to get cabins at the last moment, that too during this time of the year. With little hope, we searched for cabins in neighboring states. To our luck, in Lewis and Clark Recreational Area, Yankton, South Dakota, we got some cabins available. We were overjoyed.
We booked an electric cabin online from their site for 2 nights.
Booking Information :-
Lewis and Clark Recreation Area
43349 SD Hwy 52
01/01/2021 4:00PM – 01/03/2021 12:00PM
$124.30 (including tax)
Gavins, Cabin C
Cabin Type :-
Basic Electric Type
Next day we got call from the park manager regarding the directions and other useful information. We were told, that Visitor Center is closed during the period (New year’s Holiday) and we have to pick the keys from a box outside front door of Visitor Center. We packed our luggage and prepared whatever needed for the trip.
On 1st January, we left for the place which was around 2.5 hours drive from our home. We wanted to leave early, but as usual got late and left at around 3:00 PM. We wanted to reach there before sunset as we didn’t want to be searching for the keys in the dark. We took one loo break in between during the sunset and I took some pictures from the parking lot.
We reached there at around 6 PM and it was already dark. It took some time to find the place, it was very secluded and surrounded by deep darkness. There was too much snow in the area, paths inside recreational area were covered with snow. We parked our car at Visitor center and as instructed searched for an outside box for the keys. As instructed, in a box, an envelop with my name was present with keys of our cabin in it. There was also a form for the vehicle permit which one has to fill if he didn’t paid online. On the right side of Visitor center, there was firewood area which was closed for the season.
We drove for nearly 5 minutes looking for the signs of our campground. There seems to be no one in the park. We were actually welcomed by a deer who vanished quickly when we stopped to have a look of him. Finding our cabin was not so difficult, pathway to our cabin was cleaned. We parked our car and went to cabin. Cabin was well heated (extra heater was provided) and was equipped with a bunk bed, sofa, table and bench (all wooden) along with A/C. Cabin was lake facing but everything was too dark to reveal anything.
We unloaded almost everything from our car along with 2-4 water bottles. We arranged our belongings and prepared our bed. We were asked to bring our blankets and bedsheets. I was very tired, so I went to sleep. Harmit was not sleepy, she passed her time with Netflix.
I woke up after few hours due to excessive heat, she was still busy with the laptop. I drank water and felt refreshed due to the good sleep. We had some snacks and then I asked Harmit for night hike since she was having trouble in sleeping.
Initially she was reluctant to go for hike at that time, especially when we haven’t seen a single person there. But after I insisted, she agreed. We wore jackets, gloves and woolen caps and went for the hike with torches in hands . It was a bright night, with beautiful moon shining like a silver ball out there. I never hiked in night before, it was really exciting. There was complete silence, only noises were from our footsteps. An owl was also hooting somewhere, making this experience amazing. Sky was full of bright stars, I wanted to capture those moments, but I am not a good Night photographer.
We decided to return so as to get up early next day. My nose was also running due to cold. We came back to our cabin. This short hike took around 45 minutes, ahh ! those memorable-unique moments. Cabin was heated which was a great relief. We changed our clothes and retired to bed. We didn’t have to wait for the sleep to come, it came naturally. I was already dreaming of capturing this beauty in tomorrow’s day light.
I woke up early next day, before sunrise. While Harmit was still sleeping, I came out of the cabin to enjoy the sunrise. Lake was in clear view and was fully frozen. Golden hour colors were too beautiful in the environment. I took various pictures and waited for Harmit to wake up.
Once she was ready, we had breakfast and went for hike acroos the frozen lake. Now there were other people as well in the park, most of them hiking on trails. To our luck atmosphere was too good, bright and shiny. Trail was covered with snow to some extent but was manageable. We hiked for 2-3 hours, took photographs and returned to our cabin. There was too much snow, that too clean, we made snowman infront of our cabin. After some time we went in town to bring firewoods.it was already dusk when we returned, so we setup our firewood's in the grill area. Fire started easily without having to use too much oil. We prepared tea in the open and grilled some cottage cheese. Feeling was just awesome to be in wilderness with bright stars in surrounding. After sometime we went inside and watched one episode of our ongoing series on Netflix. Next day we had to leave for Omaha, so we slept early with feeling of satisfaction.
- Bring plenty of water for the stay.
- Bring comforters and bedsheets.
- Disposable toilet are available, regular ones are off for the season.
- Firewoods are also not available in the park. They can be purchased from any gas station or Safeway.
- There is no bathing facility available for the season.
Happy Reading ! Keep Traveling !!!
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