don’t judge: south dakota is actually cool

i literally just flushed a tick down the toilet, which reminded me i was due for a blog post. we came back from “the ranch” on tuesday evening, where the tick count has now been three since we have come back home.

  1. found one in my hair in wyoming on the way back home (after washing and brushing my hair hours earlier)
  2. shandy had one in her ear wednesday evening (despite her tick collar)
  3. there was one just crawling on my arm not more than 5 minutes ago

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don’t let that scare you off, though! also, ignore the fact i am sitting behind the computer screen itching myself unnecessarily and giving shandy quizzical looks because i don’t know where else that blood-sucking critter would’ve come from.

for our little memorial day weekend getaway, we took a road trip to south dakota and through wyoming to see lew’s family/your cliché road trip stops.

someone asked where i was going memorial day weekend and i said: “south dakota!”
they literally responded with: “why?”
come on now, folks!

lewis’s family owns an all-organic grass-fed beef ranch which has been in the family for generations. when i do i tell people we are going the family ranch, they think “oh, like a hobby farm?”
BUT this isn’t the typical “old macdonald had a farm” scenario – a SUPER cool article about lew’s family ranch can be found here! his family is kind of a big deal.. watch out for their name on the wall next time you stop at wall drug. don’t get distracted by the ladies.

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but honestly, the drive there and back was almost as good as being at the ranch itself. the sunsets and views in south dakota and wyoming are almost beyond compare. there are some really cool shots you can get hiking in the mountains, but there is something really special about the prairies and black hills.

seeing custer state park, wall drug, and mount rushmore really brought me back to my childhood. i remember it being so cool when i was younger but now that i am older, i am thinking “we drove all the way here for this?” don’t get me wrong, i still loved it – but funny to think it is a national and worldly destination. BUT the donuts at wall drug are delicious.. the 5 cent coffee they offer is literally worth 5 cents. i don’t recommend.

the t-rex is still pretty scary cool, though.

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but back to the best part:
the ranch, called “33 ranch”, is in the middle of nowhere.. so to speak. the biggest “real” town is roughly an hour away (grocery store, mall, society). the little town next to it, about a 15 minute drive, has one gas station and a bar. imagine that. the gas station also has a “casino” attached to it, which would be a few slot machines inside the gas station in a separate room. it is much like something out of a movie, and makes me love it even more. it is nice to get away from the suburbs and busy city life to really enjoy the outdoors, nature, and gambling locals. #offthegrid

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can you believe that view? i fell asleep in the grass (pictured above) and woke up to three cats and my dog napping next to me. that’s something straight out of snow white or something, right?
i could not do that here in denver (or really anywhere, for that matter) without someone calling the police on me or thinking i was passed out drunk.

the views, sunsets, bonfires, stars, rainbows (we saw four!), lack of people, horseback riding, grass-fed beef (yum!), tranquility, and animals make the ranch so appealing. it is also nice to get awoken by the birds singing and go to sleep to the crickets chirping versus waking up to the neighbor’s obnoxious pick-up starting up and the garbage truck beeping.. then at night, to hear the couple next door arguing and people telling their barking dogs to “shush” in the parking lot outside our apartment while they take them for their nightly stroll.
there are coyotes that howl at night, but that is still better than the neighbor’s unfriendly, barking corgi.

plus, lew’s family is really cool. whoa, and they’re soon to be mine!
hope he doesn’t mind sharing 🙂

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as for our dog shandy, she made a best friend named darryl this past weekend. i wish the woman who stopped me on the stairs saw our vicious dog in action, snuggling and licking a cat. she loved it out there so much and we are glad she virtually gets along with everyone and everything. i think she has been a little depressed since coming back.

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i think i have been, too.
maybe i was meant to be a cowgirl. (minus the ticks and country music)

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