As I mentioned in my last post, my sister was here at the end of September. The last time she was here Ezra was only a little four month old so it was quite difficult to do anything besides sit around the house. She had higher hopes for this trip and we mostly delivered. I would have liked to have done more with her, but we still had to do school and work and well, life.
It's a good thing our parents weren't busy and were able to take her to all sorts of fun places, like Spearfish Canyon. That weekend in September the fall colors were 90 percent full so their timing couldn't have been more perfect.
|I stole a few of Stephanie's photos...|
Of course they had to visit Roughlock Falls where Stephanie and Steve were married in 2011. I really wish I could have gone up with them. I worked this day, a Saturday, and even though we were slammed half the day, there were still plenty of people left in the area to drive up to Spearfish Canyon. My folks and Stephanie were surrounding by masses of people.
And finally, she hiked up to see Devil's Bathtub, which we did last fall.
A few days later, they visited Sylvan Lake and Custer State Park, which we haven't visited in three years since we first moved back.
All that to say, we did do one thing with Stephanie outside of the house (and shopping). She took us to Lower Hippie Hole!
After some of our hikes last fall, Stephanie suggested we do this one since it would be perfect for the kids. I sort of forgot about it, and besides I wasn't sure how to find it.
|The kids had fun throwing endless rocks into the water.|
So, Hippie Hole is a well known and very popular local spot for cliff jumping into Battle Creek. I went once in high school and have always wanted to go back. But this location, Lower Hippie Hole, is just like it sounds. It's a small waterfall in the same creek a couple miles south of the above mentioned cliff jumping pool.
You drive about 5.3 miles from Keystone east on Highway 40. At the bottom of a large steep hill, there's a turn off on the left just before a bridge over Iron Creek. There's a sign next to the parking lot that says either "Entering" or "Leaving National Forest." I just can't remember which, though it's probably Entering. You park there in the lot and at the far eastern end of the lot is the beginning of a trail. Hike north along Battle Creek about 20 minutes and you'll reach Lower Hippie Hole.
We saw some hobby gold prospectors on our way up there - pretty cool.
It's a nice little spot. I thought the water would be too cold to swim so I didn't pack swimsuits. Wish I had though. It was a hot day.
I took Snap as far as we could down this path along the ledge before we ran into a granite wall. Snap wanted to roam but he never would have come back. The is about the exact stop Ezra fell into later...
The only bummer of the place was this spray paint. Pretty sure they weren't talking about chickens. Why do some kids have to be such stinkin punks?
Noah and I climbed over the rock wall to check out the waterfall. The force of the falls have scooped out the pool so you can jump into it, like Stephanie has done with her husband and friends. It's at least 6 feet deep with no sharp rocks so it would be fun and safe to jump here.
Here's proof from back in 2010 that Stephanie has been here before, jumped and lived to tell the tale. There was one photo of her jumping but this one of Steve was the most impressive.
Noah and especially Evie got soaked so I doubly wished I had brought their suits. Noah looks like a flamingo!
Terry took a turn over there as well.
People have added to this rock dam over the years according to Stephanie.
Talking to daddy.
Terry's view of us.
Splash! You can see how she got soaked.
Samuel liked hanging out on the rocks.
Ezra was a little too reckless but we managed to keep him from falling in until the very end. He had run along the short ledge where I had taken Snap earlier. I grabbed him (Ezra) and was walking behind him on the way back to the beach but neglected to hold his hand and he fell off the little ledge, plop, right into the water!
Stephanie had been giving me a hard time about how having a good family size comparison photo so she took some photos for us here.
It was a bit bright for photos, but they still turned out good. Thanks Stephers!
What a pretty place.
Terry and I went on a five mile run that morning (since we were training for a marathon relay we were a part of October 4) and Terry was not feeling well at all. His face says it all. Poor Terry. He was coming back down with a cold he hadn't quite kicked. The training must have aggravated it.
We thought it was funny how Samuel was drinking out of my camelback.
Just chilling out.
Ezra's follow through.
I didn't bring a camera so the only photo proof I had that Stephanie was even there is this photo Terry took. I don't know when I'll see her again, but we have started an envelope to slowly save up some money so maybe I can go on my own and visit her.