Wednesday, July 20, 2016

south dakota, days 3&4

We woke up on Sunday morning and said goodbye to Thomas and Erin.  Our next stop, because it would have felt wrong not to stop, was Wall Drug.  I am pretty sure there is a picture of me next to this same Jackalope from 40 (yes, FOURTY) years ago.  I made the kids stand there just because of that.  :)  We mainly stopped for the donuts and .05 coffee.  The donuts were safe for James and delicious!
The Badlands are pretty much next door to Wall Drug.  It was a scorching 95 degrees again but I needed to see these.  They are gorgeous and so unique.  I had heard about a couple of easy trails but we entered at the wrong end of the park so decided we'd hit them on the way home.



Ruby had the camera for a while so there were about 1,000,000 prairie dog shots:
and some selfies:



When we left the Badlands we headed west to Deadwood where we spent our next 3 nights.  I had originally booked us a room in Spearfish because we had a lot of stuff we wanted to do there but I decided to switch because there was a lot more to choose from in Deadwood.  I am SO glad I switched us.  Spearfish CANYON is gorgeous...Spearfish is a lot like Verona with no trees.  :)  Deadwood is in a little valley surrounded by forests and was really pretty.  We got to our hotel, which we loved, and had dinner.  After dinner we took the kids to the pool and it was a mad house...so many people! 

The next  morning we got up early and went to the pool...no people!  It was heavenly.  James was so cute...he said, "I just need to appreciate this for a moment before getting in."  :)  It was an infinity pool with a roof that opened up.  After breakfast and swimming we stopped at Mt. Moriah cemetery in Deadwood.  Wild Bill, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock are some of the famous people buried there.  Seth Bullock's grave was high up on a hill overlooking the whole town.  We hiked to the top (our first of many uphill hikes that week) and met a local who told us when he was growing up that it was a passage into manhood for a boy to sleep on Seth Bullock's grave alone.  He had done it!  It was cool to chat with him and hear some of his personal memories.



Seth Bullock's grave:
After the cemetery we went to Spearfish and found the trail to the Devil's Bathtub.  It isn't marked at all but what I read on the internet made it pretty easy to find and the other cars parked on the roadside helped, too.  :)


The whole trail goes along a river and you make lots of river crossings.  The river was shallow and the kids loved stopping and catching minnows, etc. 

This was a steep portion heading down to the river.  Nick was at the top with Patrick, pooping in the woods, so James, Ruby and I headed down.  For SOME reason, James decided to run down this??  He couldn't stop at the bottom and ended up leaping over a big log and landing on all fours in the river.  I was like, WHAT THE HELL???  He stood up, kind of shocked, and it took all I had not to burst out laughing.  A minute later he was laughing himself and so was Ruby. 
Below is the section of river he landed in:
 Me comforting James after his harrowing experience.  ;)
After this my camera died.  We hiked a long way and it was amazing.  It really reminded us of Parfrey's Glen.  Eventually you come to this place, the "tub."  The water was freezing and Nick was the only one who decided to try it out.  A kid was taking pics with his mom's phone and when she looked she found this one of Nick and told me she'd text it to me.  After I got it we were texting back and forth and found out that her husband was from Duluth.  Small world.  :) 
Nick said it was fun but freezing.  We would all like to go back here someday...just back to Spearfish Canyon in general. 

After our hike we ate dinner at a really sad Pizza Ranch and waited forever for their Cactus Bread.  That was not even that good!  It was CRAZY windy outside of the canyon.  Then we went back to the hotel for the night.  We didn't let the kids bring any electronics with on our day trips so it was really nice to go home at night and be like, HAVE AT IT.  :)  Patrick and I would have a cocktail and it was really relaxing.

xoxo

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