Happy holidays everyone! This is the first post of a short series documenting this year's Christmas adventure. Last year Scott and I went on a long road trip with his parents to visit his sister and her family in Arizona (you can see images from that here). We spent quite a bit of time climbing, and had hopes of making that one of our Christmas traditions as a couple. This Christmas Scott and I decided to visit my brother and his family in Spearfish, South Dakota, since I hadn't seen them in over a year. As an added bonus, Spearfish has a rather incredible climbing scene, including ice climbing (which I will get into in later posts), which allowed us to continue the tradition.
Our drive out to Spearfish was a bit of a stressful one. It is a long drive (nearly 12 hours), and on top of that we had to deal with some not so pleasant weather. The winds started to pick up midway through Nebraska, and by the time we hit South Dakota we were driving in wind gusts of 60 mph, and sustained winds around 40 mph. The snow and ice picked up in South Dakota as well, though luckily the roads didn't start to freeze until we were less than an hour away from my brother's house. We were quite glad we left as early as we did, or we would have been in a much worse situation.
The day after we arrived involved a pleasantly lazy morning watching the snow slowly fall outside. A perfect little snow flake was stuck on the window, and I couldn't resist attempting to photograph it. We have been lucky (in my opinion) and had some snow every single day of our stay here, and I have been loving every minute.
That evening we went for a ride on an 1880s train with my brother, Kyle, his wife, Michelle, and their twin boys. The train was a Polar Express style ride, complete with sugar cookies, hot chocolate, and a visit from Santa after we picked him up from the North Pole. The boys were great and loved it all, and it was a nice little adventure for us as well. Unfortunately, it was quite dark and since the boys are constantly in motion, the opportunities for photographs were minimal, but I did manage to get a few that are worth sharing (though mostly just ones of Kyle and Belle).
That's all for now, since I have hundreds of images still to sift through and edit. I hope you all had a very merry Christmas, and wonderful New Year's celebrations!