Here are a few pictures from our recent family vacation to the Black Hills of South Dakota. We had a really nice time on our first solo family vacay. We stopped at the Badlands National Park and that was a great place to hike with a two year old. It was challenging enough for all of us to enjoy it but not too challenging for our little man to handle.
We took several different trails at Badlands and each one was great!
Since we had such success hiking with a a two year old in Badlands we decided to be ambitious and try hiking a longer and more difficult trail when we went to Custer State Park...i.e. Harney Peak. It was a roundtrip hike of about 7 miles and "moderately difficult". We started out with our wonderful BOB stroller and made it quite a distance with that but eventually it became too rocky and steep to continue on with it. So we hid it in the woods beside the trail and had Peanut walk, but he alternated between being absolutely fascinated with every twig, rock or leaf and complaining bitterly about his feet being tired. Adam and I couldn't decide which was worse, trying to coax him to keep walking and listening to him complain or carrying him up the mountain. We eventually ended up carrying him the last half mile or so. When we reached Harney Peak it was almost noon so we had a picnic lunch (kinda...if raisins and granola bars count as lunch) and explored for a bit. Then we started back down the trail but quickly realized that Peanut had hit the end of his energy reserves and was on his way to nap time. Nap time! So someone had to be carried, asleep, down the mountain. That was fun. Some parts of the trail are pretty rocky and rough so it was quite the endeavor to carry our son down the trail. We each took turns carrying him. I'd carry him until my arms would start to shake and then Adam would take over, and admittedly Adam did most of the carrying. We grabbed the stroller where we had left it in the woods and then I pushed it while Adam carried until we got to parts of the trail that were smooth enough to put a sleeping toddler into it. By the end of the hike I was exhausted and Peanut was feeling quite refreshed from his nap. Adam was the glue that held everything together. Goodness knows we needed that!
We also did less ambitious things like visiting Mount Rushmore.
Overall it was a wonderful vacation and we had lots of fun together!