Monday, March 31, 2008

Custer, South Dakota

Several pictures from our day in Custer.

Jack is ready to go!

The boys in the car for a long drive through national parks.

First, Wind Cave.

Jack lost interest.

Carter loved it!

Next, Custer State Park.

Wild turkeys.

Into town for some shopping and lunch.

As always, I love old buildings and the historical nature to the area.

Carter with his binoculars again.

The Drive Home

During the trip home, we drove through Lead, South Dakota where the Gold Rush of 1876 became so prevalent and happened upon the Homestake Mine. Before it closed in 2002, it was the oldest and largest mine in the western world. I wish we had made time for a tour and more interest in this area because it has so much to offer. Next time.

Because we were in a hurry, we made a quick stop, took a few pictures and hit the road again. The size of this mine is really hard to's enormous...hoping a couple of the pictures captured that.

More from the drive....several deer on the side of the road. So much wildlife to see in this area.

And, our car covered with ice.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Never been so happy to see our house.

Here we were so proud of ourselves and patting each other on the back for being so successful at this whole "road trip" thing that most people can handle so well.....when about an hour before the Colorado state line.....the bottom falls out.

Carter: Non-stop chatter box.
"Dad, did you like the hulk when you were little?"
"I can spell 'stand'."
"What does AM/FM mean?"
"Is that Denver ahead?"

Jack: Partial hallucinations, we believe....yelling "Choo choo?" at times when there was no train in sight and kicking Dad's chair while driving.

Lainey: Poor baby girl was so tired of living out of her carrier for the past week. We'd take her out as much as possible and put her on a blanket...or hold her....and she's in the baby bjorn constantly, but the fact remains that her car seat, her stroller seat, her "give her a toy to keep her busy seat" is the SAME seat. I can't wait to put her in her exer-saucer tomorrow to see her jump and play.

So, anyway, we're all home and safe and the kids are in their own familiar beds for a good night's rest. Batman is thrilled to see us. We're mostly unpacked with mounds of laundry waiting for me in the morning. Dad's back to work tomorrow and we're home....for at least a day....until I get antsy and have to be on-the-go again!

Home Tonight

One more day in our western adventure and then we're headed home. It's been a wonderful trip, however, our 3rd for this month and so we're ready for some down time.

I'll never pass up the opportunity to travel, but it's a challenge with kids....although this group is really accomodating and always up for the adventure.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Deadwood, South Dakota

Another short drive took us through Sturgis (home to the annual motorcyle rally), Spearfish Canyon, Lead, and into Deadwood, South Dakota. Each point on the map provided its own unique draw.

We took a ghost tour at the legendary Bullock Hotel and it was quite interesting. Ordered dinner in, took a swim in the hotel pool, and now 3 kids are fast asleep after days on the road. Their cribs and beds will feel good tomorrow night.

More pictures when we return, but a few highlights for now from day 4.

Sweet big brother reading to Jack.

The Black Hills.

Busy Deadwood.....lots to do.

We ate lunch at Saloon #10 where Wild Bill Hickok drew his last hand and was killed. The pictures on the wall were fascinating.

Here we are waiting for our ghost tour at the Bullock Hotel and playing our own game of Go Fish. Deadwood is a Casino town, so we wouldn't want to stand out, you know?

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Day In Rapid City

We spent the entire day here in Rapid City. This morning included some time out at a musuem and park....then back to the hotel for a long nap...and then the main focus was on the indoor water park attached to our hotel.

It was the perfect opportunity to put Lainey in her first swimsuit and introduce her to the water! I never like to put babies in the water at a very young age due to chlorine and all of the other unknowns lurking in public pools....but she's over 6 months now, so I felt good about it.

Here she is....such a cutie in her new suit and hair pulled up for the first time, too!

Jack with no fear, loving the water.

A cheerleading pose already. Look at those yummy thighs!

Carter going down one of the big slides.

Here we are at Dinosaur Park. From the top of the hill, you can see all throughout the city.

And, at the Journey Museum we learned about the history of the Black Hills and those who settled here so long ago.

Many more pictures to post once we are home. Time for bed because we're out and about tomorrow!

On The Road

Out in South Dakota and having a great time! Yesterday, we started in Hot Springs....then to Custer....into Keystone....and Hill City....and finally landed in Rapid City.

Animals seen - many antelope, many deer, one buffalo up close, and lots of turkeys.

Drove about 100 miles.

Too many pictures to post from yesterday, so just a few highlights today.....

Here we are at Mt. Rushmore.

We saw this guy near the road while driving through Wind Cave National Park.

And, beautiful Mt. Rushmore.

Out today for more adventure. I'll try to post again tonight. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hot Springs, South Dakota

A few pictures from Hot Springs, SD.

We thought this sign was funny and then later on wandered in to eat dinner. It was delicious!

Choo choo!

At The Mammoth Site. We took a tour through the facility and then were free to explore on our own.

Tools used in excavating.

The site. We learned that they still have 20+ years to dig here if their drilling proves correct. 45 feet below should bring many more finds.

A complete Mammoth skull.

Carter and Jack go down into the site - secured by the fence mind you - to get a closer look.

Inside the "museum" part of the building, explaining different uses for Mammoths. This represents a house made out of bones and hide.

A life size Mammoth.

Carter learning where they were populated on the earth.

A single tooth!

Never without time for choo choos.

It was such a beautiful day. We let the kids run a bit more after our long drive.