Saturday, December 21, 2019

Finishing Fall

It feels like winter has been here for a very long time already, but we just officially finished up the fall season. Last month we did have several weekend days with reasonable weather and took advantage by getting out for hikes on some new trails. We also had a wonderful time adding leaves to our Thankful Tree for the month of November. Such a good habit to get into -- thinking of at least one thing that we are each thankful for (and having the kids keep me accountable to do it!)

We've had the opportunity to participate in a bunch of other fun/lovely things: Diwali Festival at the SD School of Mines, community sponsored Thanksgiving in the Park Feast for those in need, Thanksgiving with Rapid City friends, getting our Christmas tree, plus attending a community tree lighting, a day of Frozen (movie) activities at the library and enjoying the first blizzard of the season from the sweet confines of our cozy house. Hurray!

We also had to say goodbye to our little Subaru. It needed repairs that would have cost nearly more than the car was worth. Although we'd only had the car 3 years, it was still a little sad to see it go -- we've been on some great road trips in it. And now we're down to just our Jeep once again. Super thankful that Jason has been able to ride his bike to work nearly every day (even in snow & ice!) and praying the the Jeep will continue to run well for us until we can locate a cheap & reliable car next year some time.
A quick check-in at Mt Rushmore -- it's still there :)

Hiking around a frozen Horse Thief Lake

Schroeder trail area

Osprey Trail at Pactola Reservoir

Thankful Tree

Thanksgiving Fun!

In the Black Hills National Forest finding the "perfect" tree

Blizzard day and driving in the hills the day after. Beautiful!

Fireworks at the Diwali Festival. Tree Lighting at Wilson Park. And, just having fun!

Good bye Subaru, thanks for all the great rides :(

Beautiful view from our window; but if it's what Fall looks like, I'm a little worried what the upcoming Winter is going to look like!

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!