To celebrate all of our hard work, we hopped in the car on Saturday and drove north to Palisades State Park in South Dakota. A little over three hours away, this gem is tucked away in the rolling hills. I got kind of nervous as we drew close; even though the GPS said we were a quarter mile from our destination, I couldn't see anything but farmland. Then lo and behold, rock cliffs!
Papa Kay joined us for our day of adventure.
The weather couldn't have been more perfect. What a lovely way to celebrate Earth Day!
I have an unnatural attraction to heights--sure hope none of the kids have inherited it from me. Be that as it may, check out how this rock formation makes a face in profile!
On top of the world, gazing down at my cute family.
Here's Brooklyn exploring.
When you're Annika's size, simply descending a long staircase is an adventure.
Eli's all smiles as he prepares to throw his mini Star Wars frisbee.
Brooklyn told us that some day she'd like to take wedding pictures here. I said that was fine as long as some day was far in the future. Dad said, "Does Fede know?" (And got walloped for the jest after.)
Brooklyn once more, hanging out in God's version of Minecraft.
Talia with her feather treasure.
Pausing for a picnic on the rocks.
After lunch, it was time to try some climbing. Our kids were amazing for their first time top-roping. Here's Brooklyn working her way across the rock face. That gal's got grit!
Next we have Eli gearing up.
Oh, what joy!
Once he got the hang of it, Eli had a great time bouncing off the cliff as he rappelled down.
Papa Kay became quite the master at belaying us, picking up our slack as usual. :)
Meanwhile, Annika was extremely content throwing sticks in the water.
Jason maps out his course.
He was the only one to make it to the very top. That takes some definite skeelz!
Playing on the way back down.
Kara's turn. Can I just say that it's harder than it looks?
By this point, even Annika wanted a turn. You can cinch up an adjustable harness pretty far, but we may have pushed the limit.
She looks pretty unsure about dangling in this picture, but she loved it and kept begging for more.
And so, we accommodated.
Despite the distance, we had a marvelous day at Palisades and hope to visit again.