Fourth of July Family Fun


The Fourth of July rivals Christmas in our family.

We’ve been spending the holiday at Jodi’s family’s Fort Pierre house and on the adjacent Missouri River since we started dating, but we decided to sell the house last winter. So, something new was in order as we searched for a new tradition.

We rented a cabin in the Black Hills and still spent time on the water, but this time it was on crystal-clear (but cold!) mountain lakes and hiking around our state’s stunning landscape. The family photo above was taken on our pilgrimage to the summit of Harney Peak, South Dakota’s tallest mountain.

What a great holiday!

FourthJackJack with his cowboy hat at a Custer State Park chuckwagon.FourthLukeLuke atop Edelweiss Mountain.FourthAnnaAnna doing her parade wave while kneeboarding on Sheridan Lake. I have weird kids.

Stockade Lake Therapy


I always enjoy an excuse to head for the hills. The Black Hills, that is.

In particular, the lakes of the Black Hills. On a still summer morning, with just a touch of ground/water fog and clear skies, the scenery can be downright therapeutic. My favorite is Stockade Lake, just east of Custer. Just a couple of hours hiking around and photographing stuff on Stockade Lake’s shores is great soul renewal for an eastern South Dakota flatlander like me.