We had a great vacation to South Dakota last week. We left July 24 and got home Thursday night. We went to the fair Friday night, stayed home Saturday and finished out the vacation with church today and a long nap and swimming for Bryon and Grace and Food Inc. at the Moxie and Borders in Springfield for me. It was a great vacation. I do NOT want to go back to work, alas, I still have not won the lottery so off to work I go tomorrow.
We left at 4 am Friday and drove straight through to Hill City, SD (Mt. Rushmore basically) on Friday and got into town about 10 pm. We travelled with the Shockley’s most of the way with stops to the Corn Palace and Wall Drug and then parted ways just before the Badlands. We went on through the Badlands even though it was getting late and Bryon and Grace even managed to get in a little hike down a few canyons while we were there. The landscape was really amazing.
We sure packed a lot into our trip and pretty much wore out South Dakota. We went to Mt. Rushmore for the lighting ceremony Sunday night and had all the kids together even though it was too dark in this picture to see Mt. Rushmore in the background. Of course our camera battery died just as Bryon was about to take a lighted photo of the monument.
I have about a million photos, okay actually 337, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisamedley/ if you are really incredibly bored and would like to see them. You can also see them on the link on the right of the page if that doesn’t work.
We saw the Corn Palace, Wall Drug, Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park, Deadwood, Sturgis, Needles, the 1880 Train from Hill City to Keystone and back, the Circle B Chuckwagon, Spearfish and Spearfish Canyon, Devils Tower, Reptile Gardens, Evans Plunge in Hot Springs, SD. Mom and I almost had to get into a fist fight over our pathetic massages at the Springs Bath House in Hot Springs, SD. Suffice it to say they now have a blistering “review” on their Google site. If you would like the entire sordid story you can read it here http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=springs+bath+house+hot+springs+south+dakota&fb=1&split=1&gl=us&view=text&latlng=6070355807658340852&ei=cVp2St2WCYOKNsC-jMMF&dtab=2&oi=md_reviews&sa=X
It was a deal.
All and all it was a really great trip. Grace was awesome and didn’t whine or complain the entire time. Neither did Nana, ha! It was great having Mom along and I hope we can have more trips like it.
There is a great rails to trails trail out there called the Mickelson Trail http://www.sdgfp.info/parks/regions/northernhills/mickelsontrail/Index.htm It’s 109 miles long and someday I would like to go back to ride it on our mountain bikes. I think we could do it in three days. We won’t, however, be staying in Hot Springs. We had planned to stay in Hot Springs the bulk of the trip but after a quick appraisal of what there was or actually was NOT to do in that town we changed plans and only spent one night. Which after our massage fiasco we were REALLY glad about.
We went back to Hill City with no place to stay three days before the 69th Annual Sturgis Bike Rally. We totally lucked out and stayed at the nicest and cheapest cabins of the trip at the Trail’s End Cabins just off the main street in town. It was cheap, clean and quiet.
Probably the most exciting part of the trip was on the way back from Devils Tower. We were going about 80 at about 10 pm a half mile from Sturgis on the main highway when a HUGE mountain lion ran right in front of our Pacifica. The thing was ENORMOUS and took up the entire lane! Bryon realized in retrospect it had been sitting on the shoulder as we approached but his brain didn’t register what it was until it leaped out in front of use. He slammed on the brakes and it was the longest two seconds of the trip while that lion leaped across the road. I don’t know how we didn’t hit the thing but Bryon and I sure got the ENTIRE full view in the headlights from the front seat. It was AWESOME to see.
It was the third cat Bryon had seen in his life and the first for me in the wild. Bryon and Gary actually saw one about a 1/2 mile from our HOUSE a few weeks ago. People had been telling us for years that they’d seen one before in our front field by the highway but we’d never seen it or any sign of one. Bryon and Gary were coming home from looking for deer one night and saw a coyote in the field by our neighbor’s orchard and then there against the trees they saw a mountain lion too. I have to admit I’m a little more wary about Grace being outside playing alone now, and the other night she said there was something in the woods by her playground. I made her come inside. It probably wasn’t anything other than a squirrel, but you never know.
So now, here I am, up too late the night before going back to work. I’ll probably end up sleeping in Nana’s room because chances are Bryon is already snoring…
Life is back to normal… and life is good.