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A Blast from the Past Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:24 am

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Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: A Blast from the Past Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:24 am Reply with quote

We were all set to post last night when we realized that the internet access wouldn't be available until the morning. Not wanting to keep our followers in suspense and cause worry, I called my mom and had her post a quick little update with a promise for another post in the morning and here it is.

Matt and I left our hotel yesterday morning with no idea who we would see. The first half mile was a steep incline, so we got a taste of the black hills right off the bat. We kept ourselves amused by the numerous advertisements for everything from waterslides, to wax museums, to giant mazes and reptile garden. It's amazing what kind of things will spring up when a lot of people already come to a place, in this case to see Mt. Rushmore. We've seen so many signs with the presidents playing banjos or skiing or getting drunk.

Going up one of the hills, I heard the familiar "snap" and our replacement front axle was done for. I fixed it, but now we are down to our last spare. Fortunately, it only has to get us to the end of the week, because Matt's mom and dad are bringing us two of the hardened steel axles that we started out with. The first one lasted us about 40% of the way, so we shouldn't have to worry about it again.

It was after this little setback that we received one of the biggest surprises of the trip. We were walking down the left side of a divided highway when some man got out of his truck and yelled "You're walking on the wrong side of the road!" We looked up and knew he was familiar, but we weren't totally sure. It was when I looked in his truck and saw his wife and two daughters that our suspicions were justified. Our most loyal fans will remember them as Sam and Julie Minich, our hosts for 2 days way back in Pennsylvania! You cannot imagine the surprise we felt. I told Matt it was like seeing a cow in the middle of New York City (not that he reminded us of a cow).

Needless to say, we were giddy for the rest of the day and time just flew by. The offered to pick us up and take us back to their camper when we finished, which worked out perfectly for us. And they were able to take us up to Mt. Rushmore, a climb that would have surely left us both near death. We got to see a special ceremony and then a spotlight was put on the faces so we could enjoy the incredible sight. The whole day was great--a good dinner (buffet), a chance to tell our stories, and a camper to sleep in--and all a complete surprise. We are so thankful that they included us in their vacation.

Well, I have to get back to the camper for some eggs and sausage, so I leave it at that. In another great and welcome surprise, we're meeting up with some friends from back home in Hot Springs tonight. Mr. McNaughton helped out with the track and cross country teams Matt and I ran on in high school, so it will be great to see him and his family again.

I guess vacationing with Matt and Brandon is becoming a fad, so don't miss out on your chance to buy us dinner and be a part of the action.

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