It was February 14th. I got a text from my brother saying, "I'm in South Dakota". I quickly called him to see what in the world was going on...He should have been at work. Turns out, he got some time off and decided to take a road trip. Just a few hours later, I was in the car with my mom, brother, and sister on the way to South Dakota for some unexpected time in no man's land.
After lots and lots of driving we made it to Keystone, SD the next day. My brother moved away four years ago and I haven't been able to see him for three years. It's a long story and not one I'm going to share here...We talk and text and skype as much as we can, but for now, being able to see each other in person just isn't going to happen on a regular basis.
That being said...The spontaneous trip to South Dakota had me in tears. I wanted to go so bad...It would cost money, it would take time, Heidi had just had her baby and I was supposed to be there helping her, and then the biggest thing: SNOW may make traveling unsafe and stupid.
Everything came together though and I am so grateful.
I drove and drove and drove...I had a place to go and someone very special to see. We hit snow off and on. There was only one point where we actually had to stop because I couldn't see at ALL. Stop we did and then continued few hours later.
|From the backseat...|
I learned that traveling at night is actually better, it was me and a bunch of truckers. I learned that I love Wyoming. The speed limits there were 75 if I remember right. I was reminded that "are we there yet?" is a very logical question to ask.
I learned to stop ONLY if I NEEDED gas or somebody NEEDED to go to the bathroom. Every single stop meant wifi and wifi meant people were checking FB and Bingo balls...Apparently , I have some addicts in my family.
On the way there, we had a mission: GET THERE. We didn't stop unless we had to. On the way back, we took our time and did a little bit of sight seeing.
We didn't stop there...I just like this picture for some reason.
We met up at the hotel, unloaded our stuff, and then headed out for a very long day of fun.
First stop was Mount Rushmore. We stopped there eleven years ago on a very similar trip. It was fun to go back. The sky was so clear and blue, but it was very very cold.
I loved seeing my brother, but more than that I loved seeing my brother and sister see my brother. They miss him a lot and still look up to him a lot. My brother is definitely not perfect but he can be one of the most helpful, loving, caring, strong person I know. He is an excellent listener, has the ability to reason very well, and is always wanting to FIX things.
Since the hiking trails were closed, we opted to spend a lot of time in the visitor's center.
And I followed everyone around with the camera....
My brother was clearly quite tired of being told to wait and smile. I love candid pictures, but I also like to catch people SMILING...
Good luck! I had NO idea that he had blown a bubble.
Clearly, candid is just better! I love this picture.
Visiting with this ranger was fun. He was from our old neck of the woods and has traveled a lot...Maybe I wouldn't mind a job like that someday?!?! We'll see...Anyway, to humor us, these two did the activity book and helped us learn a lot about Mount Rushmore.
This is my Mom's favorite picture from the day. I'm not crazy about it, but I'm sure we'll all be glad to have it in another three years.