Tuesday, June 21, 2011

South Dakota Vacation, part 3

A camping must- roasting hot dogs. We also roasted humungous marshmallows and they were delicious!

Next morning started out with Scott, Michael and Anna hiking to the top of the hill. They had a great time and the highlights included seeing a snake, hearing coyotes howling, and seeing Mt. Rushmore in the distance.

The kids had fun howling along with the coyotes.

We can't see it as clearly as they did, but that is Mt. Rushmore in the distance.

We went to Dinosaur Park in Rapid City. It is especially nice because you get a beautiful view of the city.

Storybook Island is a very cute park and the kids enjoyed running all around to see all the different statues and having their pictures taken.

We ended the day with a Cowboy Chuckwagon Supper and Show. Before it began, there were various demonstrations. The kids got to help make a rope. Here is Anna working hard.

There was a also a tin maker making the tin plates that the Cowboy Supper is served on. The kids helped put a buffalo imprint on the plate below.

Here Gramma with the girls before the show began. It was a very fun show and we all especially enjoyed the fiddler. Her fingers were flying and kept our toes tapping!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

South Dakota vacation, part 2

First stop, Mt. Rushmore!! In order to get there from our cabin, we drove on Iron Mountain Road, which has tunnels cut into the mountain through which you can see Mt. Rushmore. It was stunning! The pics didn't turn out so well but here is our crew at the top of the mountain. The mountain in the distance is Mt. Rushmore.

We enjoyed the various films and exhibits and taking the walking trail so that you can get lots of views of the mountain. We took tons of pictures and it was beautiful.

Next stop, Custer State Park. Michael was really wanting to "tromp" with Papa. This involves streams and trails and general exploration and is his favorite thing to do. As we drove through the park, we saw several herds of free ranging buffalo. There were lots of cute calves, too.... it was great!

Next day, we went to The Black Hills Institute museum Hill City. It was packed with tons of fossils, thanks to the area being so full of them.

The highlight is STAN, the T-rex. This is the second most complete T-rex skeleton ever found. Very cool and very impressive. Here are the kids standing in front of STAN.

From there, we drove by Crazy Horse. They are working on his hand this year. Due to time constraints (and $$$ considerations :-) We opted to view him from afar instead of driving in and getting the full experience. We enjoyed driving by, though!

From there, we head to Sylvan Lake, which is very beautiful. The kids and Dad enjoyed climbing hills there.

Dad, Katie, and I started to hike the trail around Sylvan Lake until Katie and I discovered that a lot of rock climbing was involved. We managed to climb up so that we could see the lake through the top of the rocks (Katie above) Then, since one of us was 5 and the other pregnant, we decided that was probably enough and headed back :-)

More to come!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

South Dakota Vacation, part 1

We had a great vacation with Papa and Grammy Pittman in the Black Hills, SD. However, the vacation is going to require several posts because there was so much to do and see!! First stop on the journey was the corn palace in Mitchell, SD. The murals on the palace inside and out are all made of corn.

Next stop, Wall Drug Store in Wall, SD. It is a massive store covering a city block. We especially liked the homemade doughnuts!

Here's the girls with one of the displays inside the store. The statue in the back was "peddling" a special tonic that would cure all your ills and attract women too!

Because of all the stops, it took us a full day to get to our cabin. That first night, the camp site seemed especially remote (requiring driving through some crazy turns) and our cabin was COLD. But after a good night sleep, with heaters, we appreciated the beauty and all the fun things for the kids to do there! This picture shows some of our campers in front of our cabin.

A few days later, Daddy, Anna, and Michael hiked up the hill behind our camp site. Here's one of the pics they took. More to come!