Monday, July 28, 2014

Week with Friends

(Jan) Last Monday our friends & Hart members Betty & Duane arrived back at Hart Ranch and so did Boomer friends Mary & Elaine. We had Happy Hour and Salmon Dinner together and just had a P1220969great time catching up!

Each summer the Black Hills Playhouse has several performances over the summer. Playing this week was Monty Python’s Spamalot. The six of us had a Picnic at Center Lake and then thoroughly enjoyed the well acted Spamalot! The music, customs and dancing were all superb.

Wednesday found us back at the Ranch for walking, biking, visiting and an excellent 3 hour Happy Hour! Betty & Duane’s friends Don and Margie joined us for a fun evening. The following evening The eight of us went P7240020to Memorial Park in Rapid City for another picnic! Thursday nights in downtown Rapid City are lively with bands playing on Main Street for the Summer Nights Concert and at Main Street Square. We wandered the street, listened to the music and strolled through Art Alley.

Several week ago our large Bedroom slide quit working and we had to get out the jumper cables to manual reel it in. Chuck diagnosed the problem and ordered the part from Newmar to be delivered here at Hart Ranch. Friday he replaced the part and now it is working ‘as good as new’.

The Pickleball & Tennis Courts and Mini Golf Course are right across the street from us so Saturday morning while it was fairly calm weIMG_20140726_140338_559 tackled the Mini-Golf course. That afternoon the Ranch had set up a large Slip & Slide for the kids. We stopped to watch the fun on our Bike Ride. Later in the afternoon there was a Wine Tasting Event up at the Lodge and then on to the Chuck Wagon for Prime Rib with Betty & Duane and Don & Margie. Dinner was followed by an excellent evening of music with a local group ‘Top Hats & Roses’ at the Pavilion next door. Whew! Lots to do at Hart Ranch.

One last activity to write about. Sunday morning we listened to a speaker talk about the stroke he had suffered a year ago. He is our age. His stroke left him in a wheel chair with his left side paralyzed. He talked about his relationship with God and how his prayers are being answered. Instead of dwelling on the harm the stroke caused him, he is rejoicing with his new, more intimate relationship with God. An amazing man with an amazing message for all of us.

Hill City & Custer City

IMG_20140720_143302_630(Jan) Our drive southwest on 16 and then west on 385 had us rolling past several wineries and into the fun little town, Hill City. It was decked out in lovely flowering pots all along the Main street. Colorful shops of all kinds vied for attention along with restaurants and bars. There were lots of Motorcycles parked along the street and I’m sure that will multiply in the weeks ahead as Motorcycle Rallies here, in Custer and in Sturgis get under way. There’s a good Dinosaur Museum in town also.

We found these two amazing metal sculptures!









We took the back way into Custer City on 87 & 89 so we could drive through the forest, through several tunnels and stop at Sylvan Lake. This favorite is such a pretty place but on this Sunday was filled to the brim with visitors so we drove on to Custer. After wandering through shops, we stopped for lunch at the Sports Bar, The Buglin’ Bull. Each year the town features Buffaloes painted in different themes. Here are a couple of the entries.





We closed out our afternoon at Stockade Lake. We found a nice shady spot for Chuck to do a little fishing and me to sit and read. Our drive back on 16a and 36 took us through Custer State Park but we didn’t see the Buffalo herds; probably lounging in a nice shady spot further in land. We did see several elk, however, along with deer, turkeys and antelope.

Around Rapid City

(Jan) We’re home here at Hart Ranch Resort for the next 3 weeks. We were assigned Space #9 and what a lovely site it is! We’re right across from the tennis & pickle ball courts, mini-golf and the restaurant-swimming pool complex! We have constant entertainment! We bought a mP7190043embership here last fall and this is our first stay here as members! We’ve done lots of walking and biking along with trying the mini golf course and listening to several of the evening musical events.

We’ve also been out being tourists again. Several Days we spent seeing sights in Rapid City. “The Journey Museum and Gardens is set up as a journey through the history of the Black Hills, starting with the Native American creation stories, moving into the 2.5 billion years of history in the rock record with the geology exhibit, paleontology, archaeology, Native American inhabitants, and concluding with the pioneers that traveled west.’'” We enjoyed our visit! We also made stops at the Story Book Island, Memorial Park for their Hills Alive Christian Music Festival and the Cleghorn Springs Aquatics Center. There’s always lots to do here.

P7190036A free park for kids! P7190038 P7190034 A Trout hatchery & aquatic displays.

P7190019P7190023A drive to the southwest side of town brought us to Chapel in the Hills. The Chapel is an exact replica of the Borgund Stavkirke built about 1150 in Norway. It was built in 1969 and features intricate carvings done by a master carver in Norway. Situated on 30 acres of mostly forested land, the church is affiliated the ELCA and it is the site of many weddings. It’s beautiful!P7190021

P7190006The Interior of the church looking toward the altar P7190008Carvings above.
The Stabbur or storehouse at right.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Fun

IMG_20140629_130152_075(Jan)We were at Yellowsmoke Park until July 6. One of the highlights was a fabulous Grill out-Potluck at Lynn and Mary’s on the 4th of July.  We enjoyed a great group of friends a a spectacular Fireworks display right there at the Lake. Camp fires were shared on many nights with the Phillips & Muhlbauers as well as a flower trip to Lake View for Mary & I and a wonderful visit from my long time friend Nancy.

Our final 5 days in Iowa were spent back at Swan Lake Sate Park near Carroll.  It was a fun and busy time with family and friends. I was able to visit mom at her Nursing Home several times a day. She told me lots of her stories. Some were new, many were repeats; all precious. She misses dad so she loves looking at photos. Here’s a photo of mom and me taken through the window into the media room as we look at photos on this Blog.

IMG_20140712_114905_373Tuesday night Glen & Mary Ann and Chuck & I met at the B & S Tavern in Carroll for Burgers & Fries to celebrate my Birthday. Wednesday night I joined my local girlfriends in Manning at 3rd & Main for sandwiches and Thursday night Ron & Edna came to Swan Lake for dinner and Pegs & Jokers.

Our plan was to leave on Friday but our Ames family called and invited us for Lunch and Birthday Cake before we headed west. Donna and the girls made a delicious cake and she had Katie, Anne, Madeleine & Libby join me for this photo.

IMG_20140713_193300_662It was wonderful spending time with everyone. We sure are going to miss all of you!

Later Saturday afternoon we did head out on the road; northwest through Sioux City, Iowa, north to Sioux Fall, South Dakota and then west to Mitchell, SD where we spent the night at a Cabela’s. Our next two nights were in Box Elder at America’s Mail Box and for the next three weeks we are at Hart Ranch.

Yesterday we visited the Halley Park Gardens and Dinosaur Park in Rapid City. A drive up to Keystone to stroll the streets and play tourist for the afternoon followed. Back in the 70’s we had taken the boys to Dinosaur Park on a visit to the Black Hills; it was fun going back and remembering those times as a young family. Here’s a few photos from our day.

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IMG_20140714_121627_206 IMG_20140714_105830_781 IMG_20140714_121956_441

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Shades of Green

IMG_20140629_083201_728(Jan)  When I was a little girl, my mom told my sister & I that we could choose what color to paint our walls and decorate our bedrooms.  My sister chose pink. I chose green and brown just like the canape of the apple tree just outside my window. I was reminded of my girlhood bedroom this week while walking around Yellowsmoke park.  Iowa at this time of year is a vast pallet of shades of green.

IMG_20140629_075232_160  Our daily four mile walk takes us along the edge of the lake, past the Beach, through wildflower meadows

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and corn fields, past an industrial area near the highway and then back up a wicked hill to the Nature Center and back down through a field of crown vetch.

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Here are some of the wildflowers….

IMG_20140629_075938_154\IMG_20140629_075903_027 IMG_20140627_125709_135

IMG_20140629_074157_867This past week has been filled with friends and family, too. We are IMG_20140603_104930_883here at the lake with local friends Jim & Jerri and Lynn & Mary.  On Sunday we went to visit at son Brent’s house in Ames with their family, our son Eric’s family and his parents-in-law and then all went out to dinner at Hickory Park, a local favorite, in Ames. Today was an annual physical for Chuck & I and tomorrow we are taking my mom to have her Hearing Aids checked. So there’s always lots to do! We’re looking forward to Fireworks and parties on July 3rd.

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