Friday, August 08, 2003

South Dakota 2003 Part II

Ugghh…sorry for not updating but things didn’t work out so well for me getting anything posted. We had some problems with the proxy server at work which didn’t allow me to ftp anything out to my site. Since I couldn’t ftp I couldn’t update anything. Anyways, that’s my lame excuse. I know I could of updated it from home, but I was busy each night. Improv practice two of the nights and Wednesday Chris, Paul, and some other friends came over for a bonfire since I hadn’t seen either Chris or Paul since before they left for Alaska. Now that I’m not busy I’ll try to finish off describing the fun of vacation.

Well, it’s been a little while now and I don’t exactly remember the exact order that we did things so I’m just going to start spewing out stuff that we did in no particular order. So let’s start off by talking about reptiles. Our family made a visit to Reptile Gardens once again this year. I absolutely love that place. Where else can you go to see hundreds of snakes, lizards, birds, spiders, bugs, and the like. It’s also fun to be able to play with the couple of snakes, turtles, and sometimes other assorted animals that they have out. I’m always amazed at the sheer amount of different species of reptiles there and that’s only the tip of the iceberg when we’re talking about all the species in our world. Yeah, we had a great time.

Vacation wasn’t just a time to be lazy—we managed to get a few good hikes in while we were there. We climbed to the top of Little Devil’s Tower one day and went through Sunday Gulch another day. Oh yeah, we also took the obligatory hike around Sylvan Lake. It’s a short little jaunt and it’s absolutely beautiful walking around the lake and the rock formations. It is simply the prettiest lake that I have ever seen.

The hike up Little Devil’s Tower was a lot of fun. I’d been to the top twice before, two years ago and about five years ago. I absolutely love it up on top. The hike to get there is also moderately difficult so you can get some exercise while on your way. The view is spectacular from the top. I can’t describe it very well so you’ll have to check out the pictures once I finally get them up. I’m working on it…

The hike down into Sunday Gulch was one that was relatively new. Our family had never done it before and I thought it sounded interesting from the hiking path guide we had. Beautiful is what it was, until you got to the end of the trail. It was still very pretty towards the end, but the environment was marred by a close-by road where you could hear cars going by and by power lines running down a stretch of the woods. It just seemed to take away from the natural beauty of our surroundings……and it was also harder for me to imagine that I was in the Lord of the Rings, which I was doing most of the hike. The initial path into the gulch was a great climb down. We had to climb down a ravine of rocks and if not for the few guide poles they had up, it would have been a very treacherous hike down. I think I might have actually preferred it more treacherous, but for a family hike the rails were needed.

Now that you can see that we got sufficient exercise while on vacation, I would like to reinforce that we also had plenty of lazy time. We went to see Pirates of the Caribbean one day. This was a phenomenal movie and the theater we saw it in had an über-THX-DTS-12.4-super-surround sound system that almost blew us out of the theater. I could honestly feel it pumping my heart for me during the action scenes. The screen was also huge helping to make the picture seem so much larger than life. We also had an outdoor movie night where we watched Rules of Engagement. We moved our little tv to the picnic table and hooked my portable dvd player into it. It was like a drive in theater……except it was a walk in theater.

Wow, I’ve got a lot more to tell you all, but I’m about finished with work and I have to head out to get ready for my improv show tonight. I’m only hosting, but I still have to be a little funny. If you can make it, our last show is next Friday. It’ll be an improv extravaganza much like last year’s (if anyone was there for it), where we will all perform. I hope to see you there (and I hope the proxy doesn’t act up again so I can keep posting).

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