The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Family Vacation

Eat your heart out Clark Griswald, the Family Truckster's got nothin' on this rig.

Every year our family takes our big vacation during the 4th of July week. Most of the time my parents are part of this vacation, as well as my brother and his girlfriend. This year it was just Lynn, myself and the boys. we did meet up with our friends Tom and Chris(female) and their son. We decided to meet in Laramie Wy, for some climbing at Vedauwoo and MTBing at Curt Gowdy State Park. Since they were not able to meet until Wednesday, we took a couple days to explore Badlands National Park, the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, and Guernsey Reservoir. In a nutshell the Badlands were really fun, the missile site was very cool, eerie, and interesting, and the area around the reservoir had just been on fire the week before and sucked.

Beware of Plague as well

We had a really fun ride out in the South Unit of the Badlands on some dirt roads

Minute Man 

This guy actually worked in the launch control bunker for these missiles in the 60's. The glass dome is over the top of the missile silo so people can see inside.  A separate tour is available to see the launch control facility. We were too late to get the free tickets for these tours, which are on a first come basis every morning at 8 am  

No tour across South Dakota is complete unless you stop at Wall Drug. 
 Wednesday we arrived at Curt Gowdy State Park. We had lots of fun fishing and riding our bikes. The mountain bike trails are some of the best I have ever ridden. There are approximately 35 miles of single track through granite boulder fields and outcroppings, lush green glens, and dry, barren foothills with sheer drops. The trails alone are worth the long trip from Minnesota to the park. The boys enjoyed fishing for a couple days and managed to only break one fishing pole in the process. I made sure it wasn't coming home when I finished it off with a large rock. The one event, which has left me with a sour taste for the whole trip was when G man and super Y decided to catch a ground squirrel while taking a break from riding. Super Y got bit, and ended up in the emergency room in Cheyenne a few days later. After receiving poor care, Lynn and "Y" were back in the emergency room once we got home on Saturday night. He spent a total of three days in the hospital before his infection was under control. We were fearful of Bubonic Plague since it is wiping out the prairie dogs in the Badlands, in a area we were just exploring several days before. We are still awaiting test results to see what bacteria he actually contracted. He is feeling better now, and got out of the hospital the day before his birthday.  I am so grateful for the excellent medical care we have here in Minnesota. I can't wait to get the medical bills and see how much this trip really cost me.          
When yo gotta go, you gotta go!

Game night



This trail called "Canyons" is right at cliffs edge in several locations

Bad pic of me, but you can see the trail just over my left shoulder, yes it was awesome , but the electrical storm closing in was not!

Tom and I got caught in the storm and somehow avoided getting struck by lightning. After making our escape form the treeless peaks and ridge lines, we hid out in a concrete rest room 5-6 miles from our camp. A guy offered us a ride back to our camp, we took it!

This is as close as we got to climbing at Vedauwoo. I bought a new rope for this trip, I'm glad we did't use it, as the rock out there is extremely sharp and abrasive.


  1. I wish you were my daddy so I could do fun stuff like that.

    dave p

  2. Awesome to see everyone outside AND on bikes. Nice work, Buddy.

  3. Taking FG notes...

    Would like to get Young Death Rider version of squirrel catch...

    Living in N Iowa now, let's ride.