The Reader and our Black Hills vacation nears its end

We egressed the Black Hills early last evening through the Spearfish Canyon Road. It was lovely but the sun was so low that only the very top of the Eastern canyon lay in sunlight. We had tarried too long in Lead, South Dakota after our last in the day tour of the Homestake Mine. I easily took a thousand pictures on my digital camera and have already removed 400 of the lesser ones while cropping and tending to the remaining before a second culling. No one needs 600 pictures of the Black Hills even with your grandchildren in them.

I was curious about the absence of my column to the Reader Weekly for the past couple weeks. I called the publisher who told me it would be in the Reader this weekend. That means it should be on their website by tomorrow. I’ll believe it when I see it. He also gave me orders on a one time basis to submit another column by tomorrow for two successive issues. I roughed out something this morning and I’ll putz around with it tonight after watching the Spielberg film Lincoln. Sadly, I had two small boys who disported through most of its first half so that a third viewing will be necessary sans boys.

We had planted ourselves in the Black Hills for seven evenings. The first two nights were in Rapid City on its eastern flank. Four nights were spent in Custer, named after the one and only followed by the last night in Spearfish. We visited Rushmore twice, the second time to make up for being chased out by rain on the earliest visit. We traveled most of the best known highways with Claudia at the wheel. She insisted because she is terrified by my gawking at every precipitous hairpin turn instead of keeping my eye on the wheel. We spent an hour and a half on a tour of Jewel Cave a similar time in Hot Springs at the site of a huge mammoth burial site. We petted donkeys and stood amid prairie dogs in custer State Park while seeing the Buffalo we had promised the boys.

I had to be glaciered a couple of times by claudia when I passed on too much historical information to our 3 and 5-year-old companions. “Glacier” had been the watchword twenty years ago with my children when I yammered on about something they were tired of hearing about.

Tomorrow we drive to Fargo. We’ve promised the littlest traveler a half year birthday at Chuck E Cheese when we get there. Hopefully I’ll be sufficiently primed to finish my second column for next week’s Reader Weekly. Every one is trying to sleep but I’ve got this bright computer on while choral music plays in my headphones. The Hotel’s water was shut off by the City an hour ago so we are all crossing our legs and brushing our teeth with bottled water. Such hardship.

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