NEWTON HILLS, S.D. (KELO) – Camping season officially kicks off this holiday weekend, but with all the rain we’ve had lately did it wash away chances for fun?
Not a chance.
Even though this weather hasn’t made outdoor activities easy, the workers and campers are still looking forward to a fun weekend.
Memorial Day weekend is a popular time for people to go camping.
“It’s one of our really big weekends we have in the state parks. Finally, the rain stopped, the sun is out and it looks like we’re going to have a really great weekend,” District Park Supervisor Jason Baumann said.
So popular, that even though severe rain has left a few spots soaked, that hasn’t stopped people from soaking up a camping spot.
“We reserved this campsite for Wednesday night and Thursday night about a month and a half ago and it was the last campsite that was available at that time, and I was surprised because it was during the week, but I figured it was probably because it was right before Memorial Day weekend, so we felt lucky that we got a spot, but we didn’t know what the weather was going to be like at that point,” Camper Jenny Gubbels said
However, the effects of rainwater from earlier weeks still ripple through the park.
“With some rain, you know, we’re going to have some muddy trails and so on. They are open and they can be used, but they’re going to be muddy so be expected. But if people take care and expect that there’s going to be some mud everything should be fine,” Baunmann said.
“Yeah, I did just walk down to the amphitheater over there and it was pretty much flooded down there, in the amphitheater area and there was a big tree that had fallen down so that area is probably not usable,” Gubbels said.
Despite the fact that water and mud have ravaged a few areas, for some people, the show must go on as the park still has tons of things to offer.
“We have kayaks, we have bikes, game rentals, trails,” Baumann said.
“I’ve been doing a lot of biking and it’s really fun to do fire pits,” Camper Amelia Gubbels said
“My favorite part of camping is the campfire and when it’s cool at night and the fire feels good and that’s always really fun,” Gubbels said.
And others are even getting a little tropical.
“I’m putting my flamingos out. The weather’s nice so you’ve got to put your flamingos out when it’s nice,” Camper Steve Gage said
In the end, Baumann is looking on the bright side.
“We’re going to get some sun; I think the wind is going to blow a little bit and help dry things out but this is something you’re going to have to deal with: it’s the outdoors. It’s camping. And I’m sure the campers will adjust just fine,” Baumann said.