Saturday, August 10, 2013

Our Family Vacation to South Dakota, Day 1: Sioux Falls

Upon our return home from Door County, we washed laundry, packed a few coolers and headed to SOUTH DAKOTA for our first-ever "Family Vacation".  We've gone on lots of little weekend excursions over the years, but never anywhere more than 2 days away from home.  This was a 5-day adventure planned by our eldest at the end of July and into early August.  We have so many people to thank for holding down the fort back home:  Kristy, Kathy, Carol & Mark for "Rudy Duty", Bud for animal chores, Shelley for loaning us the portable DVD players (because how else do 5 kids ride in a car for 6 hours at a time?!), etc.  

First stop on the way out:  Sioux Falls, about 6 hours west of here.  Ally discovered this gem in our vacation planning:  Falls Park.  The reason Sioux Falls is called Sioux Falls!  

The coolest thing about this park is that you can climb safely all over the rocks and get right next to the falls.  And the falls go on and on!  The rocks are fairly smooth and very "climbable".  I mean, I wouldn't want to do it with toddlers, but our kids (ages 7-14) were totally down with this!!

Lots of people would venture off the paved, fenced-in paths and go climbing.  People like us.

 I love this picture of Paige with the mill in the background.  This might be the biggest waterfall there.
 I took a lot of pictures of ROCKS when we were in South Dakota.  The entire state is loaded with this magnificent red Sioux quartz/quartzite.  The roads are red, the cliffs are red, etc.

 Cy is standing on that rock in the middle of the Sioux River!  The river at this point really wasn't very deep.  If you think WE were rebels, you should have seen this high school-age boy jumping from cliff to cliff!

 Always fun and fascinating to see wildlife!  (or maybe not so wild since we're in the middle of the largest city in SD!)
 Mark went up and stood on the millrace.  This used to power the flour mill immediately downstream from it.
 This is what's left of the Queen Bee (flour) mill.  Most of it burnt down in the 1950s.  Now there are bleachers in it, and it serves as an ampitheater for musical & dramatic entertainment!
Such a cool place to visit.  A wonderful way to begin our South Dakota vacation!


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