"Adventures, I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull...But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have just landed in them, usually...I expect they had a lot of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten."

-Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Birthday and vacation!

We spent a few days in South Dakota over Alexander's 8th birthday. It still feels funny to say that.... my 8yr old! :)

We left Friday morning and arrived at our campsite in Hill City around 5pm. It was an easy drive and quite a scenic one too!
This was taken just outside the badlands at a scenic overlook rest stop. You can see for miles!

At our campsite. Al cooked our chicken spaghetti dinner! We even had garlic toast! (you can see Anthony behind him, we had a creek right behind our tent. It was an amazing sound to fall asleep too!)

The boys on the bridge behind our campsite, that goes over the creek.

The highlight of the trip! We rode the 1880 train from Hill City to Keystone. It was a gorgeous train, and one of the best and most scenic train rides we've ever been on! So much history along the way.

My train boy

Customary Mount Rushmore family pic! I haven't been to Rushmore in many many years, and they've really changed the grounds and visitors area. Its beautiful, and we took the hiking trail down below the faces and around. It was really a great hike.

Al's 8th birthday, celebrated early in the morning in the tent before we headed out for the day. :)

We toured caves, and the boys loved it! Anth wasn't so sure at first, when first coming down into the cave we came through some tight spaces and he was like 'oh heck no!' but we encouraged him and he ended up enjoying it.

This is what Al wanted to do for his birthday... go mini golfing! This place was along our way to the Spearfish Scenic Byway, and was right next to a mountain (literally, one of hte greens butted up to the mountain)

This is Bridal Veil Falls, along the Spearfish Scenic Byway. If you are ever in South Dakota, make this drive a must see during your stay. Its absolutely breathtaking!

Yeah, we totally climbed down the side of the hill to the stream.

Crazy rock thrower!

Al took this of E and I.

On our way out of SD, we decided to drive through the badlands. I've never seen them, and it was worth the trip.

This is for Grandma Green. :) Thankfully we didn't see any snakes!

This was straight up, and for the record I carried is rear end up about 10ft because he couldn't climb it and INSISTED he NEEDED to see this cave because Dad and Alexander did it. :)

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