Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Tolleruds Take On South Dakota: Part 4

Storybook Island. 

One of my favorite stomping grounds as a kid.

I was probably a little bit younger than my 3 though.

They weren't too impressed to walk through this fun story book theme park at the ages of 8, 11, and 12. 

I was having a lot of fun reminiscing and climbing and sliding right along with them!

Dinosaur Park.

Build in the 1930's atop Skyline Drive in Rapid City.

One of my favorite places as a kid...

and other than some chipping paint..

hasn't really changed all that much.

Madi and I went horseback riding through the Black Hills around the Crazy Horse, Custer State Park area.

Although it wasn't great on my back, it was one of my favorite stops on our way.

Madi was paired up with Lucky.

I, on the other hand, was paired up with a bumbling, clumsy horse named Lily that had such big feet she tripped multiple times on our trail ride.


that was fun!

Our last stop for supper was at the Great Wall Chinese Restaurant in Rapid City.

This place was by far one of my favorite places to eat (Cashew Chicken) when I was growing tup.

The next mornign on the way home, we stopped in Wall, South Dakota...home of the biggest drug store in the world.

It was a bit of a tourist trap but the kids and I had fun taking photos around the various areas.

About 1/2 way through our journey we ventured to DeSmet, SD...

home of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family.

I have always wanted to travel here and see the places that she saw and lived in and am so thankful that I got the chance to do so now!

We also made a quick stop at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.

Tanner was in heaven being in a historic basketball arena and also getting the chance to eat some popcorn and taste test the ice cream.
This trip was simply amazing and I am so glad that we got the opportunity to see all these places together!

The Tolleruds Take On South Dakota: Part 3

We saw Mount Rushmore on Day 3...

and just like their mama before them...

this wasn't my childrens favorite attraction.

It was more along the lines of..

we came.

we saw.

we left.

I remember not enjoying the trip to this ever famous landmark as a child.

At the time, it seemed to me that we had to bring ALL of our guests to this amazing, but kind of boring destination over the years.

I can't exactly fault our children for not enjoying it very much.

We walked the presidential trail and got a few very amazing views but when we finished we were more than ready to move on.

After witnessing the beauty/ chaos that is Mount Rushmore the week before the Bike Rally, we made our way back to my hometown of Black Hawk, SD.

I have always wanted to show the kids the house that I grew up in...

I was beyond excited to show it to them now ..

it seemed so much smaller today, than it did back in 1992...

back when my bedroom was the one on the far right side..

when the house was newly sided and painted a grey color with blue shutters.

After witnessing the house, I was kind of giddy to show them the school that I called home for 5 years.

Black Hawk Elementary School.

Home of the Cougars.

 I guess it's true what they say...

you can go home,

but you can never, truly..

go back.

This may have been somewhere near and dear to my heart 20+ years ago but times have changed...

I'm so glad that I got to share it with my people.

Madi and I took quite a few small little hikes while we were on vacation..

We took the road less travelled and created some wild flower crowns along one of our excursions.

After seeing Mount Rushmore, we travelled to Keystone and decided to take the Alpine Slide down the mountain.

It was by far one of the highlights of my week!

Madi and her new 'boyfriend'...

The boys waiting for us girls to finish shopping!

At the end of the day I got the chance to meet up with one of my dearest friends, Crystal.

We had supper together with our families in Rapid City.

I hadn't seen her in 9 years!

Way too long when you think that we used to be together all the time growing up!

"Take my picture mom! I am a soldier!"

Tyson was pretty excited to have purchased a rubber band gun in Keystone with his money.

The Tolleruds Take on South Dakota: Part 2

One of the places I was adamant on sharing with my family while in the Black Hills, was Harney Peak.

As a kid, my family, as well as our Church family, spent many times hiking up this mountain,

to the highest point in the Black Hills. 

The last time that I hiked this mountain I was 12 years old, the age of my oldest child.

I have vivid, amazing memories of this time and have always wanted to bring my family here to see and experience the same things that I did.

Well, this was day 2 of our vacation...

and we did it.

We hiked the 3.5 miles up and then 3.5 miles down.

It is supposed to take the average hiker 4-5 hours round trip.

I should have known better with these active, athletic kids of ours that they wouldn't settle for "average".

We made it to the top and back in just under 3 hours...

Tanner likes to remind me that if they hadn't been waiting for me, they would have made it in 2.5 hours...

gotta love a 12 year olds snarkiness! 

This first photo is taken at the bottom of the peak, at Sylvan Lake...when I was still smiling, 

still breathing,

not puking, 

not breathing like a smoker (I am not) on Mount Everest.

In other words, a happy mama.

I starting sporting the pony tail about 1/4 of the way up the mountain.

Although a sweaty mess,

still a smiling, happy,

front of the pack mama..

This guy loved the entire trek...aside from the first 15 minutes when he thought we should be done!

At the summit..

the firemans watch tower.

I thought that I was going to pass out.

Tanner, Madi, and Travis made it about 20-30 minutes before me (and Tyson, who was coerced to stay back with his sick, out of shape mama about 1/8 of the way to the top).

Here I am sitting on my arse with my daughter about 20 feet from the top...dying a slow death and wondering just what in the hell I got myself into!

This was so much easier 24 years ago!!

We did it!

Made it to the top!

And watched two very large, very scary storm systems come closer and closer.

What would you do when faced with the same predicament?

Stay at the top and hope it blows by, or continue down and hope for the best?!

Well, we continued down and made the trip in about an hour.

Tyson and Madi and I climbed the rocks in Sylvan Lake and found some spectacular views!

After showers and a quick supper, we ventured into Deadwood and tried our hand at some mini golf.

I don't want to brag but I did get our families only hole in one!

Take that Travis!