If you’re in the Sam and Pat Knox Fam, be there or be square. July 15-17, 2011 at Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills of SD. We have cabins reserved until 10/20/2010.
Tag Archives: black hills
I’ve loved the Rockies of Colorado since forever. Feel so at home in the Northwoods of Minnesota. I’ve seen the amazing Yellowstone, and unbelievable stuff in Montana’s Rockies. Even explored the majestic Tetons in Jackson Hole. All breath taking awe.
And, I still can’t think of any place I’d rather explore right now more than the Black Hills of South Dakota. The mountains are smaller scale, but no less majestic and beautiful. There’s something more than natural beauty going on there. Something that holds your spirit and gives your soul breath. Even with all the gimmicky tourist stuff, it still touches your being like any sacred place.
The shots above were all taken on recent hikes in and near Custer State Park. Paha Sapa, I love and honor you.
Suppose it’s about time I post some pictures from our family vacation. It was pretty un-Grizwold like, fun and games really. Twelve days of nothing but family and free time–unplugged from email, the news, alarm clocks and meetings. My five favorite women on the planet, and me, seeing the sites and loving life. Ahhhh.
We headed out in the rain for Rapid City on a Saturday. Along the way, we hit a detour for water over I-90. That’s a first. We pulled into RC to a whopping 51 degrees. Good thing the pool and waterslide was indoors. With a bar. 🙂
Sunday morning the rain let up for a few hours, so we hung out with Humpty Dumpty, Pooh, Dorothy, Cat in the Hat and hundreds of other fairy tale stars at Storybook Island. Maybe the kids’ favorite part of the whole trip. If you get a chance, and you have munchkins with you, check it out. Did I mention it’s free?
Then it was on to the famed Reptile Gardens, a private zoo full of snakes, gators, crocodiles, birds and lizards. They also have gigantic Galapagos Tortoises, and one of them was celebrating his 101st birthday that day. It rained the whole time we were there, but most of it is indoors our under canopies. We saw a dude wrestle some gators, a really terrific bird show, and a guy play with deadly snakes.
We headed down 16A, past and behind Mt. Rushmore, toward Sylvan Lake, a gorgeous mountain lake in the north edge of Custer State Park, along the famous Needles Highway. It was foggy, raining and really cold for two days. We did have some sweatshirts, but we were planning for a June vacation, not March. Monday morning I headed to Custer to find some breakfast for us. The temp was 37 degrees. That’s about as close as I ever want to get to snow and ice on a summer vacation.
Despite the cold and rain, we did a get a bit of soggy hiking and rock climbing in. Then, on the morning we were set to leave, the sun came out and it was summer again. Glorious day. We took one last family hike, climbed some Sylvan rocks, and headed to Mount Rushmore.
It was Mesa’s seventh birthday. Her birthday wish: to have a party at Mount Rushmore. We saw the great faces, hiked the long trail, looked up George’s nose, and celebrated with ice cream and a happy birthday song at the restaurant.
That wrapped up the first leg of our trip. We stuffed all our things and kids back into the van and headed southwest toward Johnstown, Colorado for part two.
I’ve been on the road most of this week. Tuesday morning I was in Lead, SD and took in a wonderful early morning hike along the Mickelson Trail south of Lead. I was given several lessons out there by Mother Nature–one was the flowers. I was really taken by the variety of beautiful wildflowers in bloom this time of year. Here’s a sample (more on Flickr).
Another cool thing I encountered were the ‘thumps’ of fresh pine cones falling to the ground from towering ponderosas. At first I was really puzzled by the pretty frequent thumping sound I kept hearing, ’til I was almost whacked in the noggin.
I also came across what looked like wild blueberries. I picked a few, but thought I better not eat them ’til i could confirm they wouldn’t require a puke bucket for the carride home. I asked a few locals, and looked up wild blueberries on google. and I still don’t know for sure. Can anybody help me? Above are a couple pics of the blueberry-look-alikes, along with a haiku (below) I wrote on my hike back to the trail head.golden Aspen leaves
green cones thump home to Earth
berries show in blue
Enjoy the Autumn!