Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Summer Vacation 2011: Day 6

Today we started out our day by hiking up to Harney Peak.  It is the tallest point East of the Rockies and in South Dakota.  The hike was 10k round trip.  We started around 830 and it was nice and cool (comparatively speaking) and we seemed to have a lot of shade going up to the top.  It was a tough hike but the viewpoint was worth it.  It used to be the old lookout station for the fire ranger in Custer State Park.
We met a super awesome family from Pennsylvannia and they loved both girls!  They were the ones who took the family photos of us.  Everybody at the top was super amazed that Finley hiked the ENTIRE way up to the top!  She gave up part of the way down and Greg ended up carrying both kids down.  Please don’t feel sorry for him, I basked in all the attention that he received from other hikers.  The hike down sucked because the sun had moved and we had NO shade at all from the sun.  It was so incredibly hot!!  I seriously wanted to die by the time we got back down!!!!  
After the hike, we stopped back at our campsite before heading on out to Wind Cave National Park where we were going to tour a cave.
The cave was really cool.  It was really narrow and tight and low in most of it, so it felt very cavelike.  If you notice the park ranger above in one of the photos, that is where the original entrance to the cave was.  It is the 4th largest cave in the entire world.  It is also a natural occuring cave.
On our way back to the campsite, we took the scenic wildlife loop back and we saw some buffalo and a bunch of deer + antelopes.
Since it was our last night at the campsite, we had a picnic supper by the lake.  
We headed back to our campsite and had a fire.  It was the first fire of the camping trip and we really only had it for the sake of having it. It was so hot, it seemed strange to have one going.  We roasted some marshmallows, I read a book and the kids played happily.  Surprisingly enough both tops the girls were wearing came clean as did they!
It was early to bed for us as we were getting up early to head to Jewel Cave, The Devil’s Tower and into Buffalo, WY before embarking on the journey to Yellowstone.
Thank you South Dakota for a wonderful visit.  We can’t wait to come back once the kids are older!

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