Hubby and I just came back from a wonderful vacation... six days - short and sweet. It was so refreshing to get away, be together, see some of God's beautiful world, and not think about obligations, deadlines, meetings, and work. Here's my report:
Day 1 -- We headed toward South Dakota, going right past the town where some relatives live, so we met them for lunch. It was fun to see them and enjoy some laughs. This group knows how to have a good time. Even our nephew came! That was a treat. Isn't he a handsome, young man? I love seeing our little kids grow up into such wonderful adults (not just good-looking, but darn nice people as well.)
typical wide-open space in much of South Dakota
First stop was Lewis and Clark State Recreational Area near Yankton, South Dakota. This is our little camper cabin which looks directly out onto Lewis and Clark Lake. Bonus: our cabin was the closest to the swimming beach, an easy walk away. After dinner we enjoyed a brief swim. Had to be brief, because as hubby said, "Three days ago this water was snow on a mountain." It was so cold it hurt! But it was definitely refreshing. Lewis and Clark Lake is a reservoir in the Missouri River, so hubby was possibly correct about where that water came from.
It was full moon time, and I took about 400 photos of the moon rising over the lake. Those bluffs on the other side are Nebraska!
Day 2 -- One reason we chose to vacation in South Dakota is because I had amassed a large pile of boxes of donation items for Rosebud Reservation in Mission, South Dakota. I could have mailed them, but it was much more fun performing special delivery. I got to see some of the new spaces that have developed since I was there a couple years ago: another dorm for volunteers to stay in, and a new location and set-up for their Thrift Shop. It really looks nice! Volunteers were already there working hard, helping with construction and sorting tasks to make it a fruitful summer. Our church is sending a volunteer team later this summer, but I won't be able to go with them, so I'm glad I could make this short visit AND show my hubby the place where I have worked and that I love.
Next we drove to this inn at Badlands National Park. I had not spent time there since driving through 50 years ago! (Literally, 50 years.. my family drove through in 1962.) It was not a national park back then and is much improved with some established trails, guided loops to drive, etc.. What an amazing place!
We saw antelope (correct name is pronghorn), mountain sheep, and bison, most of which wandered right along the road (and across it), grazing and putting up with crazy tourists and our cameras. Our innkeeper had advised us where to go and when, for the best probability of seeing wildlife, and she was spot on.
the animals are still molting.. kind of an ugly process
The badlands are made of silt and sand, and volcanic ash. Many millions of years ago there was an ocean here! This is what is left.. one can see sediment stripes in the rock, and apparently there are many fossils here of fish and other sea life. Interesting! The rock is soft and erodes in the elements, too silty and erosion-prone to allow much to grow on it. Isn't it beautiful in its strangeness?
full moon rising in the Badlands
Tomorrow: Days 3-4.