Saturday, August 09, 2008

My view

I arrived back home yesterday with mixed feelings.

On one hand, I loved every minute of the time we spent exploring New Mexico and South Dakota. The sun seemed brighter out west (and definitely hotter), the sky seemed bluer...bigger. The stark, peaceful beauty of those arid areas was moving.

On the other hand, when I stepped out onto my driveway just after midnight on Friday, I found myself thrilled to be greeted with hum of crickets and the soft, humid late-summer air of Wisconsin, heavy with the smell of the corn in field behind our house. Wisconsin isn't as visually exciting as the West, but it's where my heart is home.

Above is the view we woke up to at the Circle View Ranch in South Dakota. Tom and I first stayed there two years ago, and we loved it so much we decided to return there - this time with our three kids. This working ranch bed and breakfast sits high upon a bluff, and borders the Badlands National Park on one side, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on the other. The views are stunning, and owners Phil and Amy welcome fossil hunting on their property which was a huge hit with my kids.

As an added bonus, they even have three friendly burros who are more than happy to help you pack up your minivan when it's time to get ready to head for home.

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