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Friday, July 31, 2009

Black Hills-Day III

This was our hiking day. Mama and Papa offered to watch Austin while Jim and I went on a hike. We went to Harney's Peak, which (if I remember correctly) is the highest peak between the Rocky Mountains and the Swiss Alps.

Here's the starting line. It was roughly a 7 mile hike, roundtrip.

If you zoom in on this picture, you can see our destination.

We passed the cathedral spires on our way. It was quite amazing to be looking down upon them!

My mountain man, on top of the spires.

The first half of our hike was virtually deserted. We took the path less traveled on. There had been a wind storm the previous day, and we had to hike over several fallen trees.

While hiking we passed this sign. We had to sign a card and leave it at the entrance letting them know how many were in our party. That seemed sort of ominous to me.

Made it to the top!
It was freezing cold and windy up there... so we didn't stay long. This is Jim trying to speed up the process of leaving.

View from the top.

Look out tower.

So, while we were hiking... Mama and Papa took Austin to see the 1880 train depart. Well, it was their lucky day and they were offered a complementary train ride! I guess Austin had a great time. I'm sort of sad we missed it!

The train engine.

Happy little boy!

After we reunited, we went this place called "The purple pie" for lunch. They had homemade pie, that Jim said is some of the best he's had. He's a tough critic, so I figure it must have been good. This is their little mascot.

"The Purple Pig"

I think there are more pictures from this day that I forgot to add... but I will add them to day four..... our last day in the hills.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Day Out With Thomas

Thomas visited Fremont, a larger town outside of Omaha. While Mommy was at work, Austin and Daddy went to see the cheeky little engine.

It started with an exciting ride on a schools bus.

We saw Thomas at a RR crossing and coming into the station

They had an impressive assortment of free activities for the children. Pulling Austin away from the train tables was like taking a bone away from a dog.

Inflatables are always a hit.

He wasn't in the car for 5 minutes before he was out.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Black Hills-Day II

Wow! Day 2 was a busy day, and since it was our first day there, we have LOTS of pictures. Hope I don't bore y0u.

Austin was always ready to go long before the rest of us. He would insist on putting on his shoes and would run out to the car and wait for us.

Austin is a runner. He runs and runs. This little hike around Sylvan Lake was a great opportunity for him to do just that.

Sylvan Lake

We finally caught up to him

Part of the path around the lake


Two bumps on a log

Top of the world

We found this really fun rock with a peep hole in it

Austin did not find it as fun as we did

The Needles Highway. Being the off-season, the roads were almost deserted. That allowed us to take pictures like these.

I love this picture.

The cathedral spires

Jim liked having his picture taken with the wildlife. There are deer in the background

Is that wildlife?

Um, Hello. He is not as close as it looks. He's actually right outside the car door and could hop back in if necessary.


These donkeys were clearly used to handouts. They held up every car that passed.

Including ours.

Mount Rushmore from far away on Iron Mountain Road

We stopped to have lunch. We were a bit silly and tired. Austin is sleeping in the car.

Tunnel with Rushmore in the background

Iron Mountain Road has lots of fun Hair-pin turns

This is the entrance to Rushmore.

Here we are!

We went on the little hike in the area. It has hundreds of stairs, which Austin insisted on doing by himself.

From below

Eventually, Austin complained about his feet hurting. He kept going though.

We ended the day with ice cream in Keystone. A great day!