Custer, South Dakota

Finally made it after that really long hour drive… 🙂 The drive up here through the Black Hills was… (this is where I need to look for more adjectives) beautiful and peaceful and just – sigh.

When I arrived at Echo Valley Campground and RV Park, I wasn’t too sure… Then the host Gary came up and greeted me, told me to walk through this road where there are 4 ponds and pastures, that I can run Sofie and not worry about a thing as it is all his land.  He was gifted it from an old man who had no family so Gary’s family became the old mans.  This area was an original homestead handed down and gifted through this old man’s family.  Unfortunately, he had no kids or real family to gift it to so Gary and his family was his new family.  Here are just a couple pictures of this place, the cabins and archery is there to use, there have been wedding and family reunions and everything else here and when I look at this area, I can see why. I would definitely have a wedding here, it’s amazing (not that I plan on getting married, or even have someone to marry)… Just saying.  Maybe we will just stick to family reunion. 🙂

The next day my parents came to visit and vacation with me, we had so much fun.  Arriving at dinner time, they picked me up and we went to the next town over to Hill City and ate at this really hometown good place.  Thinking we needed menu’s and the one on the table was the drink menu the waitress asked what we wanted, she said – we only have two things – bacon wrapped filet or pasta primavera… Bacon wrapped filet it was and they were really tasty.  The dessert menu was quite extensive, all homemade and about 34 options… Mom had the tiramisu and I had huckleberry ice cream.

The next morning we finally decided on going to Badlands National park, which was good cause I saw some pictures in a magazine and thought – holy crap, I gotta go there. With Sofie and I in the back of my truck we headed out.  Something must have been in the air cause when we got there, I put the strap in my wrist and started taking pictures with my camera, holding onto Sofie and taking pictures is always an effort and requires flexibility.  I went to grab her leash and looked at my wrist to make sure my camera was strapped, let go and watched in slooooooow motion my camera (my new camera with my new long lens) drop to the ground… Yep – I said it – the ground…  It snapped the lens off the camera and bam – there went taking pictures with my awesome camera for the day.  Thankfully it only cracked the lens connectors and not the camera or the whole lens so I think I might be able to order that… But sheesh, my iphone took all the pictures.

While we were there, we saw sheep – which Sofie barked at… and the beauty of what made Badlands Badlands.. It was weird – cause driving up all you saw were rolling hills of farms and prairie land, then you turn right on the exit, about 2 miles and BAM – the badlands…. Sorry – that was more funny in my head than on this paper.. One of these times, I will video record these…

The mounds or hills or whatever you call them (will look this one up) were so delicate looking, and the formations with the colors, we were there in the middle of the day so the sun was high and not forgiving.  I can imagine what it looks like at dusk when the shades start showing the different colors…

After that, we drove home through Rapid City, ate an early dinner or very late lunch and headed back.  With a swing by to see Mount Rushmore.  Again, holy cow – when I think I am amazed and in awe, I find more of it and so humbled by these monuments.  Because of them, I am able to have my first world problems.  I mean really, when Jefferson was writing the declaration, I knew he thought, in years beyond my life there will be a gentle soul searching for something greater than herself, wanting to make a mark in the world and therefore I must write this declaration carefully so that she might live the life she intends, and her name shall be Haydee… Clearly – all of them though living at different times thought of me and knew I would come and visit them one day.  Right? I knew it and so do you – deep down, cause we all feel the need for purpose and making your mark – big or small.

The second day, we wanted to drive through Custer State Park and I with a not so heavy heart had Sofie stay in her crate in the camper with the fan on and windows open.  Knowing we would encounter buffalo, I did not want her to feel so anxious again.  So while she was hanging out sleeping…

We had a great time driving the windy roads, going through small tunnels, being completely surrounded by 2 different herds of buffalo, seeing Mount Rushmore from so many different views, I’ll let the pictures make the impression.

And now the last day is here and I am so happy and thankful that my parents shared their vacation with me and allowed me to spend Fathers Day with my Papa.. Tomorrow we will go through Deadwood, SD (where Wild Bill was killed).. This cute little town was comprised of saloons and casinos – totally cute and lots of history.  Also, we saw Devil’s Tower and stay in Buffalo where they will head south to fly home and I will stay there a couple days. 🙂 or week… Want to check out Big Horn National Forest now….

On the way from Devils Tower, Papa was great to let Mom drive with me to Buffalo.  It was so fun to talk to Mom while I drove.  We were almost there and mom was just commenting how we were able to avoid every rain storm, and BAM, gust of wind, monsoon rain came down, I slowed to about 43 mph with the window wipers on high and still it was hard to see.  She asked, are you in the middle of the road, I just commented, I am trying to stay on the road and in my lane hopefully.  While all of that was going on, Papa was driving behind us and took this (I assumed he was being responsible while taking this)… Amazing picture though – so I am not complaining.

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Love you and hope you enjoy,
me

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