|"Walking Warriors" (Left to Right: Gloria, Rena, Belinda, Debbie)|
We recently had a wonderful kayaking outing. This past winter while in Florida we bought an inflatable kayak. We believe it's a good quality little boat. It's rated to hold 650 pounds. Shortly after we bought it I launched it on its maiden voyage in the ocean. The boat and I did well but we never used it again. Too many alligators in Florida waters. A recent hike took us around a beautiful little lake. So we joined our new friends Pat and Steve (they also have a kayak) for a boating event. We got in and out of the boat without falling in (a major accomplishment) and enjoyed a fun filled afternoon paddling. The truth is that most of the time we sat in the middle of the lake yakking and laughing with Steve and Pat. Steve was even attempting to fish among our hilarity. He did manage to haul in "some big ones." We wrapped up the day with the four of us at the Bum Steer for dinner and then later a laughter filled game of "Hand and Foot". Great food! Great fun!! Great friends!!!
|Duane and Steve|
|Pat and Steve in their sit on top with foot pedals (no paddles..cool!)|
|Notice who's paddling!|
|Pat's always smiling!|
|Steve catching the "big one"|
The wonderfully pleasant weather was only surpassed by the great scenery!
Debbie and Rena met us at our destination, Hill City. We then enjoyed a unique dining event at the well-known Alpine Inn that included German cuisine. My meal, as well as Bill and Rena's, included wienerschnitzel, red cabbage, sauerkraut, German potato salad and some sort of dumpling dish. Debbie opted for a great looking salad. I'm just really surprised by how much I enjoyed this meal. Bon Appetite!
Two days later we headed south with Bill and Rena to Jewel Cave National Monument. The cave included an enormous interior with multiple rock formations.
|You'll have to ask Bill about this "formation"|
OK, the cave. Probably too many photos, but we saw so many unique formations, it was difficult to pick and choose which photos to include.
|Lots of wide open spaces in Jewel Cave|
From there we moved on to Wind Cave National Park. This cave was far more compact than Jewel Cave.. This is the original natural opening to the cave, but fortunately not the way we entered!
The highlight was a terrifically unique display of "boxwork."
Both caves include a 100+ miles of tunnels. Both tours included about half a mile and were about an hour and a quarter. We got in free to both caves with our VIP cards. Good deal!
From there we took a long leisurely drive along the Wildlife Loop Drive in the Custer State Park. We had followed this route before but this day it was particularly outstanding. We barely got started when we came upon a herd of a few hundred buffalo that were adjacent to the road.
|Stay away from the buffalo!!!!!!|
|But what if they won't stay away from you!!!|
|First time we've so many buffalo in one place.|
We sat there for 45 minutes or more and had a blast. We moved along and came to 6-8 burros. They are well acquainted with visitors and instantly came right up to the car. It was hilarious!!
|Duane enticing the burros with a carrot. Guess he forgot Bill was in between!|
|They came to check out Rena too!!|
We continued our drive and enjoyed wild turkeys,
and some very cute barn swallows.
Really nice. Eventually we left Custer State Park and headed home. We drove through an area where there is a warning sign about bighorn sheep. Sure enough. Right there by the road was a trio of wild bighorn sheep. Too great!
Last stop was the Pizza Ranch. Way off the diet but way enjoyable. In total we traveled about 245 miles that day. Bill did all the driving. Thanks again Bill!!
We only have a couple more weeks left at our volunteer job in beautiful Spearfish. I'm sure we'll figure out a few more adventures to pursue before leaving though, so please stay tuned.
Till next time,