In-tents Weekend

Wow. It’s June now. Meaning we are rapidly approaching our one-year anniversary in South Dakota. Yet, living here still feels like a novelty. I have no idea how that is possible.

It’s going to be a pretty busy but exciting week for us. We officially close on our house at noon on Tuesday. There is some debate over whether or not we’ll get our keys right away; Tara says the title company has to record the deed first. In any case, we’ll have them within a day, which means we’ll have a lot of work ahead of us over the next month. We plan to spend most evenings and weekends at the house stripping wallpaper, painting, cleaning, mowing, and planting. Need to get those things done before all our flooring is installed (scheduled for the end of June). Then, maybe we can actually think about moving in. We are already planning on simple dinners we can make over there, supplemented with takeout.

Also this week: my company is hosting a Nurses of Excellence awards banquet Thursday evening, and I’m traveling to Ellsworth AFB on Friday to meet with a group of people about some great programs they are offering military kids. And the summer issue of our parenting magazine lands. I’m exhausted just thinking of all these commitments.

Knowing full well this would be our last free weekend for a while, Tara and I decided to go camping. (Actually, I’d made the reservations back in March, before we’d even started looking at houses. The timing was just fortuitous.)

We almost bailed at the last minute. The weather last week was nuts – heavy rain caused flooding along Rapid Creek and the surrounding streams. Just when the waters began to recede, we had heavy thunderstorms roll through on Friday afternoon. Lots of rain, lightning, and hail. I was stuck in my car in the Safeway parking lot about an hour before we were scheduled to leave, waiting for the storms to die down. Cancelling was on my mind, believe me, but I didn’t want to be out the $60 reservation fee or the six bundles of firewood, five bags of ice, rack of baby back ribs, etc. we’d already purchased. There was a break in the action around 7:00 so we finally took off, not really sure what the weather was going to be doing at Sheridan Lake.

This is why we almost cancelled our trip.

Fortunately, it was doing nothing. It was actually a lot nicer in the Black Hills than in town. Still, we rushed to get our tent set up just in case, and started a fire just as the sun was going down. It was a much later start than I would have liked, but the weather cooperated all weekend – other than a couple of distant rumbles of thunder and a few sprinkles Saturday evening, it was fine. That first night was cold, though. Pretty sure the temperature bottomed out around 40º and we were in a tent. Tara and I haven’t slept so closely to one another in a long time, lol.

Check out that blue sky! No filter needed.
Bloody Marys are a camping tradition of ours.
Saturday morning hike in honor of National Trails Day.
Does this plate scream summer, or what?!
Saturday evening sunset over Sheridan Lake.

Overall, we had a great time. Broke down camp early and were back home before 10:00. An hour later it was storming like crazy: more lightning, thunder, rain, and hail. We really dodged a bullet!

That’ll most likely be our only camping trip this year, with all the work we’ll be doing on the house.

But you know what? BRING IT ON. We’re both eager to get a little dirt beneath our fingers so we can start this next chapter in our lives!

7 thoughts on “In-tents Weekend

  1. So great how the weather held for camping–aside from the cold. That sunset pic–gorgeous. Don’t forget to post before and after pics of the house.
    I realized I read your previous post, had my comments all lined up, and then got distracted. I never got back to it. Will have to remedy….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark, I’m really enjoying the updates on moving into your new home. I am so excited and happy for you and Tara!!!!! I can’t wait to see the photographs of your remodeling. I know you must have a lot on your plate, with your new job and closing down one place as you prep for the new place. But just think of how fabulous it’s going to feel when you finally get in!!!

    Can’t believe all the rain and flooding you had last week. Glad to read you didn’t have to cancel your reservation.

    “Pretty sure the temperature bottomed out around 40º and we were in a tent.” OMG, I would have loved that because it’s been so freaking hot and humid here. It’s only June 1st, and we’ve already had temps in the 90’s!!!

    Beautiful pics of your camping trip. Yes, that meal certainly does scream summer. That corn looks AMAZING!

    Gorgeous final shot. WOW!

    Wishing you and Tara continued joy on your new chapter!


    1. Thank you so much, Ron! It seems our weather is one never-ending rollercoaster around here, that’s for sure. Maybe because you’ve had an early summer, you’ll also have an early fall? Possibly?


  3. So exciting! I’m not a fan of camping, but you make it look fun! And roasted corn on the cob is the best! So glad that the weather cooperated for you.

    I remember sitting around waiting for our realtor to drop off the keys on the closing day. We were chomping at the bit to take stuff over and start painting. Can’t wait to see your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We passed on a chance to go on a camping/diving expedition last month. (And you thought camping was gear intensive.) Turned out to be a good choice… 🌧🌧🌧💧💧💧

    Liked by 1 person

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