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October 29, 2017

Simple Sunday | South Dakota

This week can be summed up as South Dakota is cold.

We left our amazing boondocking spot in the Badlands on Monday because the low was going to be in the 20s that night (and we were completely out of water). Good time to stay the night at an RV park.

RVing in the Badlands National Park

South Dakota

After boondocking for over a week, there are some real benefits to staying at an RV. First, showers. Showers are few and far between when boondocking because we have limited water. Second, we can empty the tanks and refill fresh water. If you’re going to pay $10 to do it at a gas station, you might as well pay a little more so you can stay the night and use their showers. Third, we can charge all the electronics, backup batteries, and dog collars at once. And in this case, we could run the space heater all night.

The next few nights looked mild, so we decided to find another boondocking spot. I wish I would have gotten a picture of this place. It wasn’t the Badlands view, but it was on the Missouri River. At night, we could see the moon reflecting on the river out our front window. It’s incredible how many amazing views we’ve had (for free). Thanks, boondocking!

Unfortunately, we had pretty bad reception at this spot, so it made it hard to work from the RV. Being in the middle of nowhere South Dakota, our only “coffee shop” to work at was the one and only McDonalds. Not the local, craft coffee I normally go for, but sometimes free wifi and a place to charge your laptop is enough (and the only option).

So, with the cold temperatures rolling in, we headed to an RV park Mitchelle, SD. Guys, it got so freaking cold. It was 16 degrees Friday night. We put all three dogs in the bed, so they wouldn’t be too cold, and they’re little heating blankets for us. We had the comforter and sleeping bag on the bed, and the spacer heater facing our room. I slept in two pairs of socks, running tights and sweatpants, a sweater and a jacket, and gloves. I hate being cold. I kept waking up with my nose running like crazy. Gross? Yes, but it’s real life.

The Corn Palace

On Saturday, we visited our first tourist trap. I thought we’d see so many off-the-road tourist attractions, but we really haven’t. I think I’d have a hard time convincing Luke to stop anyways, but still.

So, when we heard of the Corn Palace and that it had free admission, we had to go. Yall, I’m still not sure what that place is all about. We walked up and saw the outside walls had art made out of corn all over them, so my expectations for the inside were high. The weirder, the better for our first tourist trap.

And it was weird. It’s literally a basketball gym inside. There’s some history via pictures and text on the walls, but it’s a gym. Tourist trap… more like tourist trickery.

Exploring South Dakota

City Park RV Park

After the Corn Palace, we headed back to the RV, took showers, emptied the tanks, and refilled water. The lows for the next few days are only in the 30s, so we decided to venture on.

Now, we’re somewhere in South Dakota at a city park that has an RV park with full hookups for DONATION only. Yep, full hookups for whatever you want to pay. It’s actually a pretty nice park. There are picnic tables at the RV spots and plenty of green space. Hudson’s ready to go play.

I’m not sure how long we’ll be at this spot, but it’s nice to have hookups for when it does gets cold.

Apple cinnamon fall cocktail recipe

Overall, it’s been a pretty uneventful week. We made delicious fall cocktails. The dogs got to run around off leash a lot, so they’re happy. And Hudson got his stitches out! All in all, it’s been a pretty ‘normal’ week – just really cold.

Apple Cinnamon Fall Cocktail Recipe

Fall is here. We saw the aspens change colors in Rocky Mountain National Park. We saw snow in Boulder, and slept through 16-degree temps in South Dakota. Needless to say, it’s not felt like the typical southeastern North Carolina fall we’re used to.

Apple Cinnamon Fall Cocktail Recipe

So, it’s time to switch out the margs for fall cocktails. I searched the internet and came up with a few options and headed to the “food center.” Yes, we were in a small town in South Dakota. Unable to find all the ingredients I needed, I got what I could and decided to piece together a recipe.

Apple cinnamon fall cocktail recipe

The first go around was not so good, but it was sufficient for watching football in the RV. Second go around, I made some tweaks, and it was just right.

Apple, cinnamon, a little spice. It’s the perfect sweater weather (or flannel weather) cocktail.

Apple Cinnamon Fall Cocktail


Fall Cocktail Recipe

Cocktail Mixture

2-3 Mulling Spice Tea Bags (usually n the tea section)
Apple Juice
      Apple cider can be used instead of apple juice and mulling spices.
2 Cinnamon Sticks (optional: more for garnish)
1 Organic Apple
1 inch of ginger
Whiskey (for Luke) | Vodak (for me) I think rum would be good too, if you want to experiment.

Cinnamon Sugar Rim

Equal Parts Cinnamon & Organic Cane Sugar

Cinnamon Sugar Cocktail Rim


Cider Mixture

  1. Prepare the mulling spices according to directions on package.
  2. Once cool, combine the apple juice and mulling spice according to the ratio on mulling spice package to make your apple cider.
  3. Chop half of the apple into cubes. Peel and chop ginger.
  4. Add the apple, ginger and two cinnamon sticks to the apple cider.
  5. Place in fridge for a few hours for the flavors to combine.

Fall cocktail cinnamon sugar rim

Rim glass

  1. Combine cinnamon and sugar on a plate or wide bowl.
  2. Moisten the rim of the glass with an apple slice.
  3. Dip glass in mixture.

Apple Cinnamon Fall Cocktail Recipe


  1. After rimming the glass, add a few ice cubes to the glass.
  2. Add your shot of choice.
  3. Fill glass the rest of the way with the cider mixture. Let a few apple pieces slip through.
  4. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.
  5. Enjoy the best season of the year!


The Perfect Fall Cocktail

Happy Fall! Leave me a comment with your favorite fall cocktail, and let me know if you try the Apple Cinnamon Fall Cocktail.