Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Minnesota musings

Important message...from the IGA in Buffalo, WY...
We're back in the land of comfort and wifi...our dear friends, Aaron and Kristina Sakaria's, basement in Minneapolis.  We gave it our best shot, seeing the parks and monuments of Wyoming and South Dakota, and met limited success.  Much beauty, some frustration, and unseasonably cold weather.  Just missed 3 feet of snow in Rapid City, and decided that 40 degrees is the lowest we want to go, and rain isn't much fun in a tent.  Luckily, Des and Emm are about the most adaptable, forgiving, fun kids we know, and they make plotting a change in plans much more enjoyable.

After giving up on Yellowstone, we headed east to Buffalo, Wyoming.  Why leaf peep in the Northeast, when Wyoming offers such beauty?  We dunno, so we didn't.  Emms has decided the bridges are one of his favorite forms of transport; bridges and tunnels.   A cute story about this bridge in the following picture....

Buffalo also gets best slides we've encountered.  Look at this beauty!  It goes up three levels!  Much fun was had by all, even after a disappointing family meeting.  Gar and I have a goal of reinvigorating our children's desire to learn, be curious, and explore, to seek out knowledge for the sake of it.  After many years of trying to get our kids to comply, with both us and the teachers in their lives, we're asking them to wonder, as a habit.  They're not quite there.  Hence the frustrating meeting. We were all pretty excited to come across these slides.
Des showing his approval...Kazak!!
Gary thought this was one of the funniest things he'd seen in a while...please take it all in!

And from Buffalo, along to our newest state, and Custer State Park for three days.  And two Cardinals wins, I believe.

Gary stayed by his phone, listening to 11 of the 12 innings on our first night, freezing and cursing and worrying and wondering.  How excited he was the next day to find out the outcome.  And how excited am I to constantly hear, discuss, and contemplate the next baseball game! (Yes, as Emmett would say, I am using sarcasm).

Our first outing was to the Crazy Horse Memorial, which was open (since it doesn't take federal or state funding).  I had no idea about this place; of course Gary did.  The picture below is for posterity...we all wondered...will it be finished in our lifetime?  The boys can come back in 20 years and see how far the statue has come.  And so we explained the proud history of broken treaties and mass murder of Native Americans.
Here's what the Crazy Horse Memorial is to look like once completed

Pearlz family randomness
Custer State Park did have a beautiful Wildlife loop; can you see all of the buffalo behind my mighty hunter?
Pronghorn white bootie

Emm named this guy Friendly Bill

Emm holding Friendly Bill and displaying perspective at the Custer State Visitor Center

 We went on a beautiful hike, the Lover's Leap loop.  Who knew South Dakota would provide some of the most beautiful fall foliage we've seen?  And we've seen some beautiful s@#t!!

Gar pondering at the apex of the leap...right before realizing Des was nowhere to be found and racing after him for 30+ minutes

that's a turkey people

breakfast in our cabin

beautiful fall river on our way out of the park

a little Pavement shoutout...Emmy spotted it!

this one's for you, Jeremy FiveCrows!

A little Mt Rushmore where's Waldo...see it?

They can close our parks, but they can't close our highways!  What more could we have really gotten out of the park, really?  I think this pic Gary took wins best shot of South Dakota.  But the pics from the Corn Palace from Mitchell haven't been loaded yet, so....