Slim Buttes- The Castles
I feel like on every hiking/camping trip, there are moments of the good, the bad, and the ugly. This trip my family and I took to Slim Buttes was no different, although I have to say there was a skosh more bad and ugly than good on this one.
The Good: My favorite part of this trip was the hiking of course, no question. I was amazed that we could drive a few hours from home and find these "Castles" that were sandy and something reminicsent of my home state of New Mexico. These towering formations set against a gorgeous blue, midwest sky were enchanting. Despite there not being any "trails" we enjoyed exploring and climbing these lovelies!
Here's where it gets interesting...
The Bad: We have a super old pop-up camper that we travel with, nothing fancy just something to keep us off the ground...we're pampered, I know. We parked our little home-away-from-home on this great hill where we had awesome views of the sunsets and surrounding country. We also ended up being in the prime location for terrifying winds sweeping in a spectacular storm. All I have to say is, thank the Lord my children are sound sleepers. My husband and I were up all night, I thought if one of us stepped out of the camper it would most definitely end up hamster wheeling down the hill. That thing shook me all night long...please tell me someone sang that line! When the kids finally did wake up in the morning, we packed them up in the car and proceeded to dismantle the camper in a lovely windy drizzle. Unfortunately, photo documenting our plight was hindsight because I definitely would love to see pictures of that night to laugh about it now. I'll be sure to remember next time!
The Ugly: This place may have been beautiful, but it contained more ticks than any place should ever contain, ever! If any of you have read my main page blurb or if you know me in real life, you know that I am a major chicken when it comes to anything bugs. I'm talking panic attack stuff, i'm talking I don't even like to have ladybugs near me, okay. At the top of my list for disgusting bugs/bugs i'm terrified of, is the TICK. Any bug that buries itself into me is not ok. I hope you are all realizing my utter disgust for these things.
Now, on our lovely hikes I mentioned early in the post, we had to stop about every 15-20 minutes or so to flick ticks off of each other. My husband was the lucky winner each time we stopped, averaging approximately 7 ticks, usually in the crotchal (should be a word but I don't think it is) region. Yes ladies and gentleman, that's an average of 7 ticks every 15-20 minutes...dis...gust...ing! If I wasn't so dedicated to the hike, I would've run screaming back to the camp...where more ticks were waiting for me...but I digress. One good thing that came of this tick nightmare, aside from great exercise and family bonding, was that I learned that my DIY essential oil bug spray was pretty dang effective at keeping those blood suckers off of the kids and I. My husband was like a tick magnet out there and he had only used the store bought bug spray whereas the kids and I used my DIY spray and had one or two on us occasionally. Needless to say, I started using those same essential oils found in the bug spray as my new body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant...not really, but I thought about it!
In summary, Slim Buttes was a rad place to visit, fun hiking, neat photos, I'll just be wearing my waders next time!