Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Hike on the High Plains

It has been far too long since Josh and I have been out in the woods. So, with warm weather in the forecast we have been planning a day to go out for a family hike. For the last week we've talked about clothing, supplies, and location until we had a plan. Of course, as plans go, it changed.

All packed up and on the road, we changed our destination. Instead of heading into the hills for some snowy fun we opted for the Ft. Meade Recreation Area in Sturgis.

There is an area north of the V.A. hospital that the Centennial Trail winds through and is also open to walk-in archery hunting. Wu and I had discovered it awhile back and it seemed like the perfect place to try out our new child carrier while letting the dog roam.

We arrived and it was apparent that we weren't going to need snowshoes. There was barely any snow at all. Eli was loaded into his pack, Wu was released from the jeep and we were off.

It was a perfect day to be out. The sun was at it's apex, it was nearly 60 degrees and a slight breeze was on our faces. Immediately we started to feel the weeks and months of being inside falling away. With each step we were feeling more like our old selves.

The trail wound through a treed area, across a small creek and then led us up to a ridge that was open and flat. Like most of the land in this region it was being leased out as grazing land for cattle. This was apparent by what had been left behind- we never saw the inhabitants- and the fact that we went through several cattle gates.

The whole while we were marching towards Bear Butte. With the sun at our backs, it was looming before us. Neither of us wanted to turn around, we could have hiked all the way there and back on a normal day. But this was not a normal day and asking Eli to spend a few more hours in a brand new carrier seemed like we would be pushing our luck.

As the sun began its descent on the Black Hills we decided to turn around and begin the march back. Josh had worn Eli on his back the whole way in and the way out was my turn to bring him for a spin.

It wasn't too long and we started to hear from him. All the excitement was too much and he was sleepy but he wasn't sure how to fall asleep standing up. We tried a few things, all of which seemed to irritate him but finally we settled into a nice sing-along of nursery rhymes and he settled down. By the time we reached the creek, he was asleep.

A few minutes later we were at the jeep, wrangling Wu and packing up. We were sad to be heading home but the taste of adventure had reminded us that this is who we are and we shouldn't get away from it again. So, in true Davis family fashion, we headed down the road already planning our next adventure.
1.8.13 Ft. Meade Rec. Area, Bear Butte behind us.

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