Rapid City, SD – Rapid Creek Trail in Spring

With the Summer heat, I find myself reminiscing fondly of Spring. Ah Spring, that golden time of year here in the Black Hills when after the harshness of Winter, Spring’s gentle warmth and greens is as refreshing as her warm breezes. OK, yeah that’s totally euphemistic garbage. Winter here is harsh and cold, Spring is wet, soggy and storm riddled. But euphoric recall doesn’t quite work that way so, I thought I’d share a few Spring shots with you from a lovely day in early May on a trip to Rapid Creek, Founders Park trail here in Rapid City, SD.

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There is just something about the moon in daytime that I find so incredibly entrancing, unusual and somehow magical. Like a clandestine lover on a secret visit, so lovely and yet so unexpected.

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Shrubs and trees everywhere are budding with life. Barely containing the excitement when they will burst forth in glorious blooms.

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And, of course, birds everywhere. Look hard and you’ll see the little woodpecker atop the light pole. He was hammering away at the metal end cap with such fervor that I feared for his beak!

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And or course, anywhere there’s green grass to be found, the ever present bane of gardeners everywhere, the bunny rabbit. Such a graphic reminder of Spring.

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Till next time ~Peace ~ JPP



Sylvan Lake – Black Hills SD

Held within the confines of Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota, lies a mesmerizing little body of water known and Sylvan Lake.

Sylvan Lake

Popular with tourists and locals as well, it’s a lovely little oasis during the heat of summer. We took the trail around the lake and found it well worth the walk. There are fascinating geological sights like this “narrows” part of the trail between two mammoth boulders, watch your head.

trail or tunnel

Or the tiny waterfall hidden in a crevice.

tiny waterfall

Then there’s the stairway to heaven, or maybe just back to the road.

rock stairway

And, as always life and beauty in the oddest places, just waiting to be noticed.

Life everywhere

If you find yourself in the Black Hills area, visiting Mt. Rushmore or Sturgis, take a few hours and explore Custer State Park and by all means, take the perimeter walk at Sylvan Lake. Til next time ~Peace JPP

Thoughts for a busy holiday

I love John Muir’s writings. Always have. He touches my heart in a way few other writer poets have. So, for this Wednesday, while those of us in the US are off making our party plans, cooking and celebrating I offer this.

Take a moment, close your eyes, breathe deep, listen to the sounds, feel what the air feels like. Open your eyes and see, really see, the world around you. There is beauty there, there is beauty everywhere, you have only to open your eyes to see it.

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Crater Lake, Oregon

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul” ~John Muir

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Redwoods,  California

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” ~John Muir

Til next time ~Peace JPP

Earth Day at Custer State Park

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Custer State Park Fire Damage
Custer Fire damaged tree 4.22.18
Half burned Tree Custer State Park
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Lone Buffalo
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Man and Beast
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Grass coming up through a burn spot
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Buffalo Crossing

In December 2017 the Legion Lake Fire swept through the Black Hills near our summer landing spot. Although we had already departed for warmer climes, the impact was pretty horrific. When all was said and done, nearly 54,000 acres burned including nearly 50% of our beloved Custer State park. Today was the first time we have been back up there since the fire. Continue reading “Earth Day at Custer State Park”

The Joy in the Journey

I continue my new relationship with snow and ice and cold weather. Today was beautiful, sunny, warm (well warmer), albeit windy. These are icicles that formed on our RV from the melting snow, then as the sun came out, they melted away from the RV and stood like tiny stalagmites supported only by their own frozen molecules. For some reason, I found this delightful and I’ve been smiling about it ever since. I’ll probably continue to smile long after they have collapsed back into puddles of water, ever reminded of their stubborn tenacity refusing to melt in the mid-day sun. Continue reading “The Joy in the Journey”

Stuck in Colder Weather

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“I want to see you again, but I’m stuck in colder weather.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.”           ~ Zac Brown Band

We hear it a lot, “how do you keep from freezing in an RV?” Well, for the most part, we do what most sane full time RVers do, we head south for the winter to warmer weather. Of course, every once in awhile, mama nature throws a curve our way. Like now, it’s mid April here in the black hills and the “normal” highs are in the 50’s lows in the 30’s. No worries. Unfortunately the pineapple express (weather front blowing in from Hawaii) has thrown everything off kilter this year. It’s been way colder than normal for the nearly 3 weeks we’ve been here and today we’re having “blizzard conditions.” I mean, really? BLIZZARD! in the middle of APRIL?!? No use complaining about it, weather is what it is and it does what it does, regardless of plans, wants and desires of certain snowbirds. Continue reading “Stuck in Colder Weather”

Full Moon Magic and One Town to Avoid

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Full Moon Magic

The moon was full last night. The clouds broke enough for her light and beauty to shine through. I love full moons, they light up the sky and light up the night. I am such a “look at the moon” kind of person. I can spend hours just staring at the moon, the planets, the stars. Give me a clear sky and a warm jacket and I’m good. It’s part of what I’ve learned through this life style about life and more importantly, about myself. Stay out of that place called Guiltville. Continue reading “Full Moon Magic and One Town to Avoid”