Black Hills Adventure (Our little “Make a Wish” trip)

20 Jul

Veronika and I have been fortunate to travel to some pretty amazing places during our lifetimes, but a little ol’ road trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota just might be the best trip we’ve ever taken.

Why? Because it meant the world to us to be able to go on this trip with our two dogs at this point in time. In a way, this vacation was kind of like a “Make a Wish” trip for J. I knew we had to go while we still could. Plus all I’ve ever wanted to do was be out in the woods hiking and exploring with him. The Black Hills were the perfect place to do this as a family.

The Hills are about an 11 hour drive from Minneapolis (depending on potty breaks – for dogs and people!), so this was by far the longest trip we’d ever taken with Jasper and Zooey. In the past we wondered if we could even make a trip like this work with two dogs. Now we’re wondering why we didn’t do this sooner!


Photo: Packed up and ready to go!

After packing the car, we all hopped in and headed west. Jasper has this really funny habit whenever we’re on a road trip. Even when he lies down, he still keeps his head propped up so he can look out the window and watch the clouds and landscapes pass by. It’s almost as if he’s thinking, “I may never be this way again, so I don’t want to miss a thing.”

On night one, we stopped a little over halfway in Chamberlain, South Dakota. After dinner, J went for a dip in the Missouri River, while Zooey took a crap in the river. Bad dog!

On the way back to our hotel, a deer walked right in front of our car. Zooey loves to chase rabbits back in Minneapolis, but I don’t think she’s seen a deer before. She was just frozen in the back of the car with a look on her face like, “Holy s***, that’s a REALLY big rabbit!”

Day two we made it to our friend’s perfect little cabin in Custer State Park. The location couldn’t have been more beautiful… ponderosa pine all around, rock cliffs above us and a stream down below. Just the perfect escape from work, the hustle of the city and worries about cancer.

Over the next week we created a lifetime of memories with our dear Jasper and Zooey. Each day seemed even better than the last. We hiked mile after mile of backcountry trails (J really liked his “doggy hiking sandwich” – two pieces of bread with peanut butter and dog food in the middle… yum!). Jasper swam in more lakes and streams than we could count. Zooey ran up and down and up and down and up and down the hillsides and then she ran some more. We all went swimming in Angostura Reservoir – a gorgeous lake on the southern edge of the hills where I spent many happy days as a youth. We drove through mile upon mile of breathtaking scenery and at night we all cuddled around the warm fireplace. Ohh, and we were almost hit by lighting while out hiking… like I said, good fun!

Probably the best part was that through it all, J was just a “normal” dog. Sure, he was a little more tired at night and he did sleep until 2PM the first day back in the cities, but throughout the trip he was running and swimming just like the old J. For a few days we were able to feel like he wasn’t even sick.

Well, enough of me blabbering on. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…


Photo: You see a lot of strange things in South Dakota


Photo: Zooey checking out the prairie


Photo: Ready to head off on a backcountry trail


Photo: The Needles in the beautiful Black Hills


Photo: What a great day for a swim in Pactola Reservoir


Photo: Jasper and Todd enjoying a dip on a super hot day


Photo: Gotta stop for ice cream!


Photo: Resting back at the cabin


Photo: Zooey zonked out after another big day of hiking


Photo: Stopping for a break near a Black Hills stream


Photo: Zooey and V near Sylvan – most beautiful lake in the Hills


Photo: J does his super model pose


Todd and J watching the sun go down over Sheridan Lake

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2 Responses to “Black Hills Adventure (Our little “Make a Wish” trip)”

  1. avi July 27, 2010 at 10:07 PM #

    absolutely beautiful. i’ve been following your blog for a while now. been dreaming of sharing life with a vizsla … you only help confirm this! jasper sounds like such an amazing part of your life and i wish you guys ALL the best.

    • treubold July 28, 2010 at 8:19 AM #

      Hi, we LOVE the Vizsla breed! Both of our dogs are so affectionate, unique and of course, high energy! I’d say go for it. 🙂

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