In Murder in Custer State Park, costumer and amateur sleuth Merritt Andrews lives and works in resplendent Custer State Park in the Black Hills. One of Merritt's favorite spots in the park is the 'Blue Bell' Resort Area.
Blue Bell Lodge
Step back in time to the Wild West charm of the open country at Blue Bell Lodge. This area of Custer State Park, lies at the convergence of windswept prairies and high bluffs overlooking the Black Hills. This is the place that even city slickers can enjoy kicking back in a pair of faded blue jeans, donning a cowboy hat and pair of boots. Blue Bell brings the Wild Custer out in all travelers.
Blue Bell was built in the early 1900s by a Bell Phone Company executive as a dude ranch, it was sold to Custer State Park, continuing its legacy of western fun. Lodging ranges from campsites set in the shadow of Ponderosa pines, to rustic affordable cabins and accommodating high-beamed log cabins.
In Murder in Custer State Park, Merritt and Josh enjoy a meal at the Tatanka Lodge Restaurant at Blue Bell. The restaurant has an inviting ambiance of the Old West, with a stone fireplace, antique bar, and hearty 'Cowboy' menu featuring plains favorites including Steak & Eggs, Bison burgers and salads....
Blue Bell has a general store for camping needs. The Blue Bell amphitheater is home to nightly 'Ranger Talks,' and was the site of a 'Preview Show' of 'Dakota.' These 'Ranger Talks' and Night Programs offer an interactive way to learn about Park Forestry, Plants, Astronomy, Wildlife and more.
Family fun abounds with hiking, horseback riding from the stables and the world-famous Chuckwagon Dinner: "Entertainment, adventure, and a dinner all in one! This old-fashioned hayride on a vehicle-drawn wagon first takes you on a 45-minute scenic drive on the Park's beautiful backroads in search of wildlife! Sing-along live entertainment accompanies you along the way, and the wagon drops you off at a beautiful canyon for your Chuck Wagon Cookout! Departs nightly, times vary by month. Back by dusk. Souvenir cowboy hat and bandana! Reservations encouraged by calling 605.255.4531" from http://www.custerresorts.com
Camping Reservations - spaces fill up quick: http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/custer/campgrounds/blue-bell/
Make a New Year's resolution to plan your own adventure to Custer State Park and don't forget to purchase your copy of Murder in State Park, now available on Kindle and in Paperback.