We’ve had a busy month.
During the weekend of the 10th-12th we drove across South Dakota to see some of the sights. We spent a night in Wall, and in the morning visited Wall Drug. Then we headed farther west to the Black Hills. As we climbed in elevation it got colder and colder and we started seeing snow! We went to Mount Rushmore, but it was a bit hard to see the faces with the clouds so low. We had a good time walking on the trail around it though. Then we got back in the car and headed to Crazy Horse. On the way we saw a mountain goat and some deer. (Dan honked at one of the deer and it jumped a mile) Crazy Horse was kind of cool, but it was even harder to see. So we mostly just looked around at the sculptor’s studio and the other exhibits they have there. That sculpture is going to be absolutely massive. We headed out from there and toward Deadwood. It got snowier and snowier as we drove. Deadwood was pretty cool. We went up to the Mt. Moriah cemetary to see the grave sites of Wild Bill Hikock, Calamity Jane and Sherriff Seth Bullock. The sherriff’s grave was even higher on the hill where the cemetary was and it was quite a hike up. After the cemetary we went back into town to find supper. It was almost as if the town was one big casino. Kind of interesting. We found a decent buffet and then headed to Rapid City where our hotel for the night was. Sunday we got up and went to Cabela’s and then started back toward Iowa. We detoured through the Badlands National Park, which was very cool to drive through. It was even colder because it was so windy out there, but we stopped several places to take pictures. We saw prairie dogs and a rabbit.
October 17, 18, 24, & 25 (and also 31 and Nov. 1) we helped out Dan’s cousin, Bill with his Haunted Grove. He has a friend with an acreage near George, IA that has a nice grove on it. He setup a whole course for people to walk through and has had “zombies” hiding in it. The cool thing about his idea is that the people who come through can take a paintball gun and shoot the zombies. I’ve helped take money and organize the groups to head through and Dan has been both a zombie and a guide. Despite a few cold nights, it’s been a lot of fun to hear the screaming.
Dan’s aunt Lisa had to go to some meetings down in St. Louis from the 19th-21st, so she invited his other aunt Becky and me to come along for the ride. We drove through the day on Sunday and had lunch with another couple of relatives, Dan’s Uncle Harold and Aunt Laurie. On Monday Becky and I took a tour through the city with my PFW friend, Kelly. She took us to a restaraunt called Fitz’s which makes its own sodas. Then we went to the zoo. There are a ton of cool animals, but my camera battery died partway through. When Lisa finished with her meetings we met up with her and the four of us got supper at Pujols 5, a restaraunt owned by one of the St. Louis Cardinals players. On Tuesday, Becky and I took the shuttle bus to the airport in order to get on the Metrolink train. We rode it back to Forrest Park, where the Art Museum is (also the Zoo, Science Center and History Museum). Apparently the building was built at the time of the 1904 World’s Fair and they’re adding on now. We went through the entire place and then headed back to catch the train again. When we arrived back at the hotel, Lisa was ready to leave so we drove to Kansas City to meet Patience (Becky’s daugher & Dan’s cousin) for supper. We had tried to stop in and see her on the way to St. Louis, but the exit signs didn’t match our Garmin and we gave up. We got back on the road and had to drive for a good while through some rain and quite a bit of lightning.
The 26th we woke up to a lot of wind. It was gusting steadily at around 40mph. It took out a small tree in our yard and even knocked out powere for a bit later. We went to church in Maurice, then stayed for a potluck dinner which we ate with his Uncle Terry and Aunt Colette. Then Dan and I headed south to Sioux City, so Dan could buy me a birthday present. He knew we wouldn’t have time to go on Tuesday, when I actually have my birthday. So we wandered the mall there and he bought me a book, “The Other Queen”. Then we found a Best Buy so he could get the new Guitar Hero game, called World Tour. It came with a new guitar, drumset and a microphone. I also got the Disney movie, Sleeping Beauty, which is now out on DVD. It’s my favorite, and I’ve never even owned the VHS. Then we drove around for a while looking for a Walgreens and ended up eating supper at Chili’s. Yum. We got home early enough to unpack the game and play for a while with Doug and Will.