Sunday, July 12, 2009

MN Trip/4th of July

On Tuesday (June 30th), we packed our bags and began our journey East to the great state of Minnesota. We left after Doug finished with work at about 6:00pm, and decided to just drive and see how far we could make it. We ended up taking a short nap in the car somewhere in Montana, and then arrived at Doug's parents on Wednesday night around 11pm. We both decided that we would take the trip home at a much slower pace.

While back in Minnesota we were able to spend a lot of time with our friends and family. We had a great time camping over the 4th, and couldn't believe how much Greta and Afton have grown up since we have last seen them. It was so fun for all of us to get together for the weekend. Hopefully it works out to do that again next year! On the 4th we also went to Elbow Lake to spend part of the day with the Marihart's. It was so fun and relaxing to sit around and catch up with family while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Since we pushed the trip out to MN so hard, we decided to enjoy our trip back and take a "mini" vacation. We made reservations at our favorite campground in the Black Hills, Rafter J Bar Ranch. We left Montevideo Wednesday morning around 7:30, stopped at the Badlands, Wall Drug, Hill City, and Mount Rushmore.

After a busy day of travel and taking in the sites, we sat back and relaxed next to a campfire. In the distance we noticed some lighting and thunder in the hills. We both agreed that it was quite beautiful. I even made the comment that "it would be kind of cool if it was thundering and lighting tonight as we were sleeping in the tent, as long as it doesn't rain." As we were enjoying the fire and each other's company, we noticed the thunder and lighting slowly getting closer and closer so we decided to call it a day and head for bed. About ten minutes after laying in our tent the storm hit. Huge gusts of wind, the loudest thunder, the brightest lighting, golf-ball sized hail, and rain were all coming down. I changed my mind about my previous comment, and was actually a little freaked out. After about five minutes of enduring the storm, our tent collapsed completely on one side (luckily it was the side our feet were on). We then went to the car, called all the local hotels, but had no luck getting a reasonably priced reservation. After waiting out the storm, we headed back to the tent and managed to stay semi-dry considering the circumstances. In the morning we assessed the damage and found all of our tent poles to be bent or broken, and a huge rip in the fabric of the tent. Unfortunately we will not be able to do anymore camping this year.

Before: Doug looks so proud!


The final highlight of the trip was Saturday night. Back in February Doug and I purchased tickets to a Coldplay concert at the Gorge Amphitheatre. We had heard amazing things about the theater, and figured we better check it out. It was amazing, by far the most beautiful concert venue that we have ever seen. The majority of seating is general admission on the grass hill that over looks the Columbia River. The pictures do not due it justice. Along with the a perfect atmosphere, the concert was amazing. A great way to end a great trip!

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