Greetings from South Dakota, Part 2

I’m really glad Carl let me buy that hoodie yesterday.


Because we spent all of today in the Black Hills, and it was COLD. I mean, back home in Iowa, the low today was 67 degrees. Up here, the high was, like, 55. And only after the sun came out, and that didn’t happen until mid afternoon. For most of the morning, we had a fine soaking rain and a temperature of 49 degrees. I’m glad I packed the girls’ hooded sweatjackets. Brrr!

However, that didn’t deter us from having fun. After breakfast we went to Mt. Rushmore. The kids were (predictably) impressed. We hiked the entire trail around the base of the mountain, which was good because we needed to work off some of the calories we’d accumulated at the three Bode family parties. After Rushmore we drove to Hill City and bought tickets to the 1880 Train. This is a steam engine powered train ride, round trip between Hill City and Keystone (SD, not IA) on an old mining spur line. The views were nice, and we passed through some cuttings that were carved out of the solid rock with only dynamite and pickaxes back in 1880 (thus the name). We bought the tickets an hour and 20 minutes before the train was to leave, so we walked around downtown Hill City. They have some neat art galleries and antique shops, which Mommy dragged the girls into. I didn’t buy anything, but I was tempted! For lunch we went to Dairy Queen because we’d promised the kids we’d go to one sometime, and this was that time. After lunch, we did the train ride, and then drove up to Lead (pronounced LEED) and Deadwood where we got on to the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Highway. And when they say scenic, they mean it. The mountains lining the canyon go straight up, and the views are absolutely awesome. Carl stopped a few times and took pictures. The coolest thing we saw was Bridal Veil Falls, and I got pictures of that. I could have stayed there for hours, sketching, but the girls were impatient to get back to the hotel pool, so we kept going. After the Canyon we stopped in Spearfish for supper, then back to Rapid City, where it started raining again.

But now the girls are down at the pool with Carl, and I’m happily blogging away. Oh, and a note for Mom: I got Hannah the “Sheila the Great” book I e-mailed you about. I hope you hadn’t gotten it yet, and if you have to take it back I’m sorry.

But I must go. I have a load of clothes in the dryer in the Guest Laundry facility, and if I don’t go get them immediately after the dryer stops, the pain-in-the-butt gal who yanked my clothes out of the washer will yank them out of the dryer in another messy heap. The jerk.

Hmmm. I’ve had to make a Wal-Mart run, and now I’m doing laundry. How did I end up doing household chores on vacation?

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