South Dakota!

It’s still beautiful!

So, Lloyd’s family holds a reunion every other year. This year, his daughters were the hostesses, so how could we not go? It was the perfect excuse for going back to his home town of Rapid City (actually, his home town is Box Elder, but…), and an excuse for me to really use my new baby, a Canon 80D!

Our first day was spent just getting to Oacoma, where we stayed in a new Baymont Inn & Suites. NICE! Besides the fun decor, it was clean, quiet, and comfortable. I should have gotten pictures of the outside, but… Any way, if you like woodsy, this hotel is full of it.

The next day, we took the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway. I’ve been in there, from the east entrance, but only a short way. This time, we took the whole loop, and I am very glad we did. Wow! I normally do not care for wide open spaces, and much prefer to have trees around me. But, this place… Simply amazing!

badlandscactus_flowerframedlayers

Above are some of my favorites from that tour. Beautiful, huh? I never imagined the Badlands as being so pretty!

The reunion ran Friday through Saturday, but the family had some get togethers on Sunday, also, so my next shoot time was on Monday, when we went to the Black Hills Mining Museum. This museum is based on the Homestake gold mine, where Lloyd used to work. Of course, it was of particular interest to him after he found that out! LOL

The tour was interesting. We paid for the whole thing, which included “panning” for gold. Well, almost. The gold was “salted” (meaning, they poured it into the pan for you), and we didn’t do most of the panning. Rather, the tour guide did most of it. Kind of disappointing, but we got a couple of kind of expensive souvenirs from it. All together, though, the tour was enjoyable, and I’d go back, minus the panning for gold part.

enginemine_car

Things remembered… These are quite interesting if you note the sizes of these pieces of equipment. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the elevator. Lloyd keeps saying it was “nuts to butts” packed. The best I could find, to fit his oh so eloquent description is this picture. Holy cow! I guess he wasn’t kidding! LOL

The next free day, we took the Wildlife Loop route through the Hills.

head_bumpjennyspotted

And, we actually did get to see some! Those bison? They were so near the truck I could almost have reached out and touched them. Made Lloyd nervous with their sparring, so he drove ahead a bit. They were getting rather close, and we didn’t want them bumping into the truck. And that jenny was about at that upper-right-hand curve when we first saw her. She just meandered along, until she got to us. She almost put her head into my window, but must have realized we didn’t have anything for her to eat. Doesn’t look like she needed anything! And, isn’t that foal CUTE!?! I took several shots before it finally turned its head so I could actually get a decent picture of its face. Adorable!

Well, I’m sure you are tired of my going on and on. But, to my defense, I had the BEST time, and am so thankful for the sights we got to see. It’s hard to not share them!

‘Til next time… Go! Shoot!

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