Thursday, June 5, 2008

Grandson's First Road Trip

I limped into Mitchell with my alternator on the blitz. I had called my son and had him locate someplace for me to get this fixed. Of course, they didn't have the part in town and it had to be ordered special from Workhorse. This is one time I was glad I had an extended warranty. I was only out my deductible. But it did get fixed and it is one thing I don't have to worry about anymore.

This past week has found me in Mitchell, SD, visiting some of my grandkids. What a joy. But especially because I took my 8 yr old grandson on his first road trip. Yes, it was short, only 2 days, but boy did we have a good time. Only about 120 miles away was Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone, MN. There was no campground there, so I stopped at Split Rock Creek State Park to camp. After parking the motorhome we hopped in the car and took off to see what Pipestone was all about. It was a quarry. The rock, called surprisingly, pipestone, was and still is used by the Indians to make ceremonial pipes. It is also now used to make trinkets which are sold in the gift shop. They have native sculptors demonstrating how to work the work also. The rock is made from compressed clay, which is sometimes as deep as 100 ft below the surface, compressed between layers of quartz. We walked around the small park, where Carter got to climb on rocks, and investigate the surroundings. One of the fascinating findings was the many bones laying in a rock den. But there was a beautiful waterfall as well. This was all within blocks of downtown Pipestone.

Bones in a Den

Waterfall at Pipestone National Monument
Next stop was Blue Mounds State Park. Someone told us we should go there to see the bison. Well, the bison were so far out in the field we really couldn't see them. But it also said there was rock climbing. So back to the ranger office and we asked where was the rock climbing? They directed us to another entrance to the park. WOW! In Minnesota, who would have thought we would find this wall of rock. And again, within biking distance of the local town. We passed several rock climbers who had finished for the day, carrying all their gear. Carter got to do a little rock climbing of his own.

Then it was back to Split Rock Creek. The next day we spent on the beach there, just enjoying the great sunshine and wonderful weather.

I also had the opportunity to spend some time with my 2 younger grandsons. One day all three were having a great time wearing someone else's shoes.

But then it was time to head to the SOLOs rally outside of Rapid City. I am the official dog walker today while most of the group took a motorized bus tour of the area. It took me over an hour to walk all the dogs at noon. It has been raining all afternoon and I have to walk them all again in about an hour. Hopefully it will quit raining. Someone even said they saw snow flurries earlier. What is going on? It's June!

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