Tuesday, August 2, 2011

our trip to the Black Hills...

Hey there! I'm back from vacation and I have so much to tell you! Sorry for my blog absence. It was nice to get away, take a break from everything and just spent time with family. We visited my family in South Dakota for about 10 days and then had a couple days home and left again for Maine with my husband's family to the beach. So many great memories made once again! I LOVE summer!!

I wanted to share a few pics from our trips and I'll post more on Facebook soon! Many of you know I'm originally from the Black Hills in South Dakota and lived there for almost 30 years. There is just nothing like it there...if you ever get a chance to visit the area and love to be outdoors, you need to hike Harney Peak. It's amazing. A brochure I read there said it's the highest peak between the Colorado Rockies and the Swiss Alps. It's 6 miles round trip and SO BEAUTIFUL! This is me and my daughter Taylor on our way to the top. It takes about 3-4 hours to get to the top and is quite a grueling hike (well for me. ha), but so worth the views. Coming back down only took about an hour. I was surprised she wanted to go, but she actually did better than I did! :) I wish I had as much energy as her again.

Here we are getting ready for the hike. My aunt and uncle from Minnesota came with their kids, my brother and his family and us.

The path was simple at first (and a little misleading), but it turned very rocky. We saw gorgeous wildflowers everywhere we looked in differing colors, shapes and sizes...
My guy and my brother in the background checking out the views...


My brother and his cute family. He has two boys, so they love to do this hike every year.
Here's a view from the top. You can see for miles!
I loved how the trees looked from above...

At the top...

See the little people in the middle (below)? That was our clan. We sat on the rock, rested and had our snacks to re-fuel.

There is an old tower at the top that they used to use for a fire look-out. Last year when we hiked it, a storm hit right when we got to the top, and we had to hang out in the tower until it passed. The clouds were literally right over our heads!


My mom's side of the family had a reunion while we were there in the Black Hills, so we all stayed in two cabins in the hills together for 4 nights.

We ate lots of good food, played cards, went horse back riding, swimming, mini golfing, visited the Flintstones Village, Storybook Island, Wind Cave, Reptile Gardens, saw buffalo and the cutest little prairie dogs.
We traveled around and did lots of sight-seeing, Mt. Rushmore, etc.

I am really going to miss everyone... and just being there in South Dakota. It's tough coming back to New York, but I look forward to next time I get to see everyone. It's so different there, so peaceful and beautiful. I've seen it a million times, but I will never tire of the beauty of it.

I think I'll have to come back with a separate post with some beach pics! :) Thanks for swinging by today,

19 comments:

Marie/Mison said...

Your vacation sounds really lovely. And the pictures tells the story.

Michelle said...

I did not know you were from SD! So cool!! I lived out there when I was really little. My father was stationed at Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City. We moved to MN before the big flood in '71 and I haven't been back since. I have been wanting to get out there for years! It's only a 10-12 drive from where I live. Your photos are so beautiful!! I am so glad you had a fun time with family!!! That photo of the prairie dog is so cute too!!!

Melonie said...

Fantastic pics!! Looks like you had a great time:) We have Mt Rushmore on our list of places to see b4 the kiddos graduate. I'll definately be asking for your advice!

Nora said...

Absolutely breathtaking!
The best way to spend it was definitely with family ;)
Thanks for sharing...
Big hugs,
Nora

dalijablog said...

Beautiful photos!

Holly Saveur said...

Stunning views!!Look so much fun..and such amazing nature ..here in the Netherlands we don't have mountains..wished I could go for a hike there too!

Christine said...

Stunning photos and what a fantastic place. Prairie Dogs - never seen them before, not something we get in the UK - how cute!! :)

Chris said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip! Mt. Rushmore is on my bucket list.

Charlene said...

I'm so glad that you got away and had a great time! It looks so beautiful!! We have some mountains that look similar...There called Castle Craigs and on the hike to the top there's beautiful lakes,trees,wildlife, and it's spectular!!!

Keshet said...

Looks like a beautiful place!

CardMaven said...

You were in my back yard! I've even climed Harney Peak in my ripe old age. It truly is a beautiful spot, and I get to live here. Also, born and raised here. Love following your blog.

CardMaven said...

oops typo. I do know how to spell climbed.

Jinny Newlin said...

Great pics! We're heading there next month. Can't wait!

Pat said...

Beautiful photos! As I was scrolling through, I recognized the fire tower and knew it had to be Harney Peak, then went back and read your comments. I have never been there, but I am scrapping my son's cross-country trip when he was a freshman in college. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us!

andie librandi. said...

glad you had a lovely vacation...my mom grew up in that area as well so we've vacationed near mt. rushmore often. i've been to reptile gardens before as well...i remember an alligator wrestler and a giant galapagos turtle that you could "pet." :)

Artyjen said...

Aah! The black hills of Dakota...I'd like to visit one of these days ;)
Looks like a fab time was had by all
xoxo Sioux

Lisa Kind said...

Beautiful pictures! I was in the Black Hills, but didn't do that hike (thank goodness...I would have died of exhaustion!). It's a lovely place!

Jocelyn Olson said...

Love seeing the pics. We moved back from the Corning/Elmira area to Sioux Falls last year, but I haven't been back to the Hills for about 10 years. Your pics make me want to go back! :)

Rhonda V. said...

Loved seeing the pics! I keep telling my hubby we need to go. Can you believe most of my life I've lived here in MN and have never gotten there yet!

It will be really fun with the boys! What a nice time to have all your family there too!!!