View Full Version : Vacation pics (lots)

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
06-27-2003, 04:50 PM
Ok, since Basement Boy seems to be settling in nicely :D and for the most part I'm caught up at work and next week we're heading out for another vacation (extra long July 4 weekend), I figured it's time to get our vacation pictures up.

We have a friend who lives near Boise, ID and they just bought a big motorhome last year too, so we decided we'd meet "1/2 way" which turned out to be the Black Hills of SD - you know, Mt Rushmore and all?

So when we first got there, we stayed at a KOA campground right near Mt Rushmore.

The amazing part was, we came 1000 miles, they came 1000 miles, and as we were pulling in, I heard an air horn behind us - sounded like a fire truck or something. I asked Terry what it was and he said it was our friends, they were right behind us!!! We couldn't have planned it that way if we tried! So the KOA is a HUGE campground. We were parked way in the back of the pic, on the left side (dont' bother looking, even I couldn't see us :rolleyes: but we're there!) It was a nice campground with all the amenities like a few pools, evening entertainment (cowboy singers and such), ice cream shop, horse stable, cabins - you name it.

So the first day we took a ride through Custer State Park. It's a beautiful park, some wooded and some plains, where the buffalo roam free.

It's really cool because a lot of the time the buffalo will be on the road, and you have to just sit and wait until they move - unless you want to try shooing a buffalo off the road....I'll wait. ;) There are other forms of wildlife too, like Big Horn sheep....

.....antelope, prairie dogs, etc. And they all roam free so you really have to be careful when driving. Unfortunately this time we didn't see the herds of Buffalo anywhere near the road, but the local Donkey herd sure knows how to work it.

If you stay in your car and roll the windows down, they will stick their heads right in the car looking for handouts. :rolleyes: :D Don't want to try this with a buffalo! :eek: :eek:

We had packed a lunch, and fortunately the donkeys didn't get to it, so we found a gravel road that turned into ruts (we're so excited to have 4 wheel drive!) that eventually led to a real peaceful picnic spot.

It was really a beautiful day.

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
06-27-2003, 04:59 PM
One morning we went for a breakfast ride.

It was a 2 1/2 hour-total-ride, that included about 1/2 hour or so for breakfast and climbing on the rocks.


I've only been on a horse a few times in my life, but I really enjoy rides like this. There was only our group of 5 plus the guide (the bigger group when on ahead) so it was fun. My horse's name was Rat Boy and Terry's was Doolittle. I thought Rat Boy was an unfair name because he was a really nice horse, and never gave me any problems - whew! :D And let me tell you, breakfast never tasted so good! Talk about breakfast with a view! It was really neat. :D

Then we went to Mt Rushmore.

Mt Rushmore is really neat, and it's so interesting learning the whole story and all the history behind it all. And after that we drove past Crazy Horse.

Crazy Horse is cool because you can watch its progress since it's still being carved out of the mountain. We didn't have time that day to stop in, so I got this pic as we drove by. It's fun to see how much further along they are on it since a few years ago when we saw it last. The interesting thing about Crazy Horse, and one of the reasons it's taking so long, is that there are absolutely no government funds being used for it. Admissions and private donations are where the money comes from. This also has a very interesting story and history behind it - but I'll leave that to you-all to find out on your own by visiting. It's definitely well worth it. :D

06-27-2003, 05:05 PM
AWESOME photos. Looked like fun. I always thought Mt Rushmoore was much taller.

06-27-2003, 05:05 PM
Nice pics! Sounds like it was a lot of fun:)
Two summers ago, when we went to the Rockies, there were all kinds of animals there too, like moose, mountain goats, deer, bears, and alot of others. Some let us pet them, like the goats. I wish it was like that here where I live.
Those mountain pics are beautiful, I love Mt.Rushmore.
When we went on our vacation, there was horseback riding too, but I didn't go:( I wanted to, but I forgot why I didn't.:rolleyes:
*sigh* I feel like going on vacation now

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
06-27-2003, 05:10 PM
After this, we moved to a campground right in Custer State Park. Much, much, much nicer campground. It didn't have all the amenities of the KOA, but it had a whole lot more atmosphere. There was a fence around it. Some people thought the Buffalo were fenced in in that area, but actually it was a fence to keep the buffalo out of the campground. The campground was fenced in, not the buffalo. And we found out for good reason too, because they came right up to the fence on a few occassions while we were there. We saw "evidence" of them being there, and the last night we were there "the guys" were out harrassing the buffalo and they probably came within 10' of the fence. Once the harrassing started (just yelling at them and making grunting noises like a male buffalo might to get the other males riled up) I was otta there! No tiny little wooden fence would hold back a charging buffalo, and I didn't want to be any part of that scene. :rolleyes: But it would have been neat to get pics of them so close....oh well...next time. (yeah, right!) :D

There was an open area right near the campground where many buffalo spent their days.

There's a little creek down behind the trees, and I think the buffalo like this area because it's wide open, yet has trees for shade and water near by. You can usually count on at least one or two of them being here as you drive by. At one point, there was one across the road, just eating and slowly meandering towards this area. Well, this motorhome (not ours) comes to a screeching halt to stop and take pics of the buffalo. He was parked, and the next thing you know, the buff across the road decides to cross the road....right in front of his motorhome!

Just think of the pics that guy got! Although, he had to sit and wait for the buffalo to move before he could move his motorhome, and the buffalo found some pretty sweet grass right there, so he wasn't in any hurry to move. :D

As I said, this campground had a lot of atmosphere. Here is the little creek that ran past it. There was a really nice, paved, path that went along it for a couple of miles - really nice.

And they had a small lake - more like a pond - but just big enough for us to blow up our inflatable boat and go for a cruise. ;) And yes, all 5 of us fit...but just barely.

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
06-27-2003, 05:17 PM
(ok, last one)

The second last day we were there, it rained in the afternoon. Good heavy duty thunder boomers too. But with no serious wind or tornado threat. I love it when it rains like that. And afterwards, since the sun hadn't quite set yet, we got a rainbow.
It's hard to see because I couldn't get the entire thing in the pic, but it was a complete rainbow, from one end to the other - which means it had two pots of gold, right? :D

We were having dinner in our friends motorhome so I got to get some pics of ours with the rainbow behind.
This first one is the left side of the rainbow.

And this one you can see the right side of the rainbow. Put the two together and you can sorta see that it was a complete rainbow!

I've never seen that before! I've seen double rainbows, and there was a real faint one that we only saw when looking through the pics, but I've never seen a complete full rainbow. Pretty cool if you ask me. :D

And that's all folks! It was a wonderful relaxing vacation with good friends. Oh, and their almost 5 year old daughter learned how to ride her bike with no training wheels while we were there too! She was so proud of herself and constantly wanted to go for a ride. :D

If anyone is looking for a nice vacation area, the Black Hills are the place to go. There is so much to do. We also toured two very different caves - really cool - and there are mines and a whole lot of history, not to mention gambling in Deadwood and a whole lot of really beautiful scenery. I'd go back in a heart beat.....:D

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
06-27-2003, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by Kfamr
AWESOME photos. Looked like fun. I always thought Mt Rushmoore was much taller.

It is! The pic doesn't really do it justice. Guess you'll have to take a trip to find out for yourself. ;) :D

They've recently redone the entire area, putting in a beautiful parking lot, gift shop, restaurant, ampitheater, etc. The entire area is just beautiful and awesome when you think what it all stands for. :D

06-27-2003, 11:50 PM
Lovely! Quite a coincidence with the timing of your arrival, too. Thanks for sharing this with us.

06-28-2003, 12:01 AM
What great pics! It looks like you guys had a wonderful time. The scenery is beautiful, as are the wildlife! It must be the pic, because I thought Mt. Rushmore looked small there too!

06-28-2003, 12:43 AM
Great pics. :D I'm glad that everyone had a great time. :)

06-28-2003, 07:49 AM
Isn't SD just amazing? We've visited there a few times and have loved it everytime. I would really like to try the horseback riding though (Mark's alergic to horses so he'd have to stay behind;) )
Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful vacation with us, I felt like I was there! Oh, and that rainbow.....simply amazing!

06-28-2003, 09:57 AM
Looks as if you had a great time. I would have loved every single thing you did.
And yes I think it was clever to avoid to harrass the buffaloes:)

I've read in the US that most people being bitten by a rattle snake are younger males having harrassed the snake before:D :D

Edwina's Secretary
06-28-2003, 10:14 AM
Great photos Debbie! I've only been to the Dakotas on business...:eek: :eek:

Do you tow your car behind your camper?

06-28-2003, 12:30 PM
Great pics! It looks like you all had a great time!
I love going on trail rides when I go on vacation, it is a great way to see the scenery.:)

Gone Doggin'
06-28-2003, 08:24 PM
wow! great photos
beautiful animals too!!
glad u had fun
wish i could have been there:p

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
06-30-2003, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by Barbara
I've read in the US that most people being bitten by a rattle snake are younger males having harrassed the snake before:D :D

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: Yes, for some reason boys will be boys...or should I say men will be boys....:rolleyes: And they wonder why they get bit! :eek: :rolleyes:

A few years ago we were there for Sturgis (the big motorcycle week) and met a girl whose arm was in a cast. Turns out she had gone right up to a baby buffalo that was near the road and starting petting it. She never saw the mother coming....and was darn lucky to be alive...although her bike was totaled!!! I mean really...some people....:rolleyes: But I think people think these are tame animals like in a petting zoo or something. :rolleyes:

Do you tow your car behind your camper?
Yes, we just got it all rigged up and ready to tow right before this trip so it was our first time towing. At first we were all paranoid about it, but it's so small compared to the motorhome that before we knew it, we forgot it was even there! I forgot to take a pic of the whole rig ready to roll down the highway, but we're taking it again this coming weekend, so I'll be sure and get a pic then. Oh, and this is the reason I bought the vehicle I did because all I have to do is put the trans-axle (the one that controls the 4 wheel or 2 wheel drive) in neutral, and it unlocks the wheels so they roll freely and the miles don't add up either.

Anway, since that was probably way more than you wanted to know....:rolleyes: ......thanks everyone. SD really is beautiful, and like I said I would recommend it to anyone as a vacation destination. There is just soooo much to do that I don't think anyone would be bored. :D

Miss Meow
06-30-2003, 05:00 PM
Great pics! Mt Rushmore looks awesome and I've always wanted to see a buffalo :)

07-05-2003, 03:07 PM
Debbie all the pictures are just great, such a beautiful place to be. The rainbow pictures are wonderful too. Thanks for sharing!:)

I feel a song coming on "........take me back to the Black Hills, the Black Hills of Dakota, to that wonderful Indian country that I love......" I will be singing it all night now! :D