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This week’s post comes straight from the pages of my journal. What follows are a few of the notes I jotted down while on a recent family vacation to South Dakota:

  • There’s not a better soundtrack to listen to while driving through the Black Hills than Lord Huron’s first album, Lonesome Dreams. Especially the album’s first track ‘Ends of the Earth.’ A close runner up is Hill Country’s ‘The Eagle,‘ but trust me, neither one disappoints. Click the links and listen for yourself.
  • My wife is beautiful all the time, but she’s stunning in the mountains. Born and bred in the foothills of the Rockies, she’s in her element at elevation and when the cool mountain air is playing with her hair, she’s more breathtaking than any scenic view.
  • I’d happily accept an extended commute to the office if it meant I had to drive Needles Highway and cross one of the Pigtail Bridges in the Black Hills National Park. Who knew bridges could be beautiful?
  • I’m much more interested in and appreciative of the things God has made than the things man has made. Mount Rushmore is impressive – imposing, even – but the awe I felt under Teddy’s gaze evaporated the minute I was forced to exit through the park’s gift shop.
  • I desperately need to spend more time in the great outdoors than just the thirty days of Oklahoma’s spring turkey season and the three and a half months of our deer season. In fact, while standing at the foot of Mount Rushmore I had the distinct feeling that Teddy was looking through his pince-nez and down his nose at me. I have access to land, both public and private, that most folks would pay big bucks for and it’s just left untouched for much of the year. Shame on me.
  • Having said that, I am truly a hunter at heart. I found myself incapable of simply taking in the views of landscape and wildlife; I subconsciously assessed each from the hunter’s perspective and consistently found myself thinking things like, “I’d hang my stand in the ponderosa pine at the mouth of that draw.” and “The back forks on that mulie are plenty deep enough to make up for his lack of spread.” 
  • I’m ready for another vacation.
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