Back from Rushmore
Just got home tonight from a six day trip with our family to Mount Rushmore. We met my brother's family there, as it is a good in-between spot for us to rendezvous (they live in Montana). We ended up renting a house in a picturesque valley in the Black Hills, just outside of Rapid City. The owner of the house (who is a state rep in South Dakota) stayed in a small camper with his wife and daughter a hundred yards or so away, while we used their home. To us this seemed a little strange, but apparently this is not an uncommon thing for homeowners to do in Rapid City during tourist season. It worked out good for us because it was a lot cheaper than two hotel rooms for that time period.
I was kind skeptical going into the trip how much I would really get out of Rushmore, but I was very impressed with the beauty of the Black Hills (reminded me a lot of the Rocky foot hills just west of Denver) and Mount Rushmore was actually quite impressive. There is a lot more to do there than just look at the mountain. Among other things, there is a great museum, which I would like to visit again when I am not trying to corral a one year old!
Besides Rushmore, we did all the typical, touristy stuff. The only thing I regretted was not bringing a fishing pole. There was a small, clear mountain stream in the vicinity of our house named "Rapid Creek" that flowed through beautiful rock gorges, and in one place where I looked had several rainbow trout. If you know me, you know I have a love for small streams. I would have loved to have spent a morning trying to catch some of those trout, but I will know for next time.
If you need a good vacation place, I would definitely recommend Rapid City/Rushmore area. There were other day trips from there we could have done as well, but the kids wouldn't have liked sitting in the van any longer after the 15 hour drive to get there!
The second week of vacation I will spend a little closer to home, getting some things done around the house that I have fallen behind on. I am enjoying the time off from work, and it also rejuvenates me and makes me want to be a better pastor when I return. See you then!