Monday, November 11, 2019

Reminiscing on summertime fun in the Black Hills

With the past month bringing multiple snow storms and below zero temperatures (-4 this morning!), our summer is really, truly over. Living in colder climates makes me feel like we need to cram in SO MUCH into our short summer months. This summer we definitely did our best!

We had two sets of visitors from California (hurray!!!), we camped, hiked, canoed and explored the Black Hills, saw lots of friends and spent many afternoons just hanging out in our backyard. Plus, squeezed in as many house projects as we could (more on those later).  It was really lovely (I only wish we could have done it for longer!)
First good weather day of the season - 
taking a hike up the Cathedral Spires trail.
Cathedral Spires

Enjoying Center Lake

Custer State Park with Mom & Dad

Papa Tom style breakfast, pie making with Nana

House projects with my Dad - cutting off the 1950's cupboard trim & installing a new light fixture over the sink.

Always beautiful, Spearfish Canyon

Finding all kinds of fun around Rapid City & saying goodbye (already!)

More California visitors! My sister, Bonnie & her wonderful family -
can't believe it had been two years since we'd all seen each other!

Fun with cousins around Rapid City
A VERY rainy/stormy day at Custer State Park

Adventure to Reptile Gardens

One last lake/fishing day at Sheridan Lake

Backyard 4th of July fireworks
Camping at Iron Creek Lake, with heavy thunderstorms. Spent a lot of time in our tent :)
Around Iron Creek Lake
Campground fun!

Canoeing on the lake

Loving our backyard & all the flowers!

Summer was full of glorious rainbows -- I have seen more rainbows in the two years we have lived here than my entire life before.
Summer sunset & enjoying the mid-autumn festival moon-rise from Dinosaur park.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Getting in ONE more lake day

The temperature last Friday was predicted for over 60 degrees and with all the cold/snowy weather we've been getting, a trip to Sheridan Lake with the canoe seemed a must. It was windy (and there was still snow on the ground in places), but it was a really lovely day and I'm so glad we went.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Feasting our eyes on fall foliage @ Spearfish Canyon

Two weekends ago we had the pleasure of a non-windy and not-too-cold weekend day -- woohoo! And decided to take a drive as a family through the beautiful Spearfish Canyon. Snow and very cold temperatures were forecasted later in the week and we knew we needed to go now if we were going to catch any of the pretty tree colors.

It turned out to be a gorgeous day. We enjoyed the spectacular drive, hiked up the Iron Creek Trail and picnicked along Spearfish Creek. It was really wonderful

Hiking on Iron Creek Trail

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Soaking in the last warm days

It seemed like last Sunday would be our last really warm feeling day for the season. With cold days in the forecast we tried to make the most of the beautiful day by taking our canoe out to Pactola Reservoir in the afternoon for a paddle, some beach time and a bit of fishing --

To our surprise Luke caught a BIG rainbow trout! 17 inches!! Go bud go! We brought it home and had it for dinner that night. (Whew! Jason & I are very out of practice at fish cleaning. I don't think we've cleaned one since fishing in Palau!)

And it was a beautiful afternoon, so glad we went.

Earlier in the week, I had the chance to get the kids back up to Little Elk Creek with water shoes on and had a blast playing and wading in the cold, clear water.

Paddling back at sunset - couldn't ask for a prettier afternoon on the lake.

Our earlier trip wading at Little Elk Creek, the water was brisk!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Ending our summer road-trip (WA --> SD)

It was great to be reunited with Jason for Labor Day Weekend in Spokane with his family. His arrival also marked the near end to my grand summer adventure and I felt really disheartened by that. Living in S. Dakota the past two years has felt very isolating and while I knew we needed to return home, I was not feeling at all ready yet.

We had a nice weekend with Jason's family, enjoying dinners together with his parents, sister and nieces, going for a hike at the Iller Creek Conservation Area, attending church and meeting up with long-time friends, the Sandins, for a wonderful day at Coeur d'Alene Lake.

We left very early Monday morning to make the drive home in one shot. I realized as we started out that we would be missing the pretty part of the drive because it wasn't light yet. Bummer. We made decent time and got home 15 hours later. Hurray! Walking in the front door I realized I had forgotten how nice our little home is. It IS home. And Jason had been very busy working on DIY projects while we are away -- quite a labor of love which made for a sweet homecoming.
Picking strawberries in the garden with Mimi. Yum!

Beautiful hike with the grandparents.

A few photos with the whole family after church services.
These kids! Oh my heart :)

A lakeside picnic at Coeur d'Alene Lake with Jason's parents and the Sandins. 

Fun at the lake

A little extra fun at the Sandin's home, 4-wheeling, trampolining and strawberry picking!

A few more good shots from Marilyn :)

The long road home -- sunrise from the road, picnicking in Montana & enjoying a final "birthday" coffee to get us through!