As previously mentioned, we began our weekend journey to the Black Hills for the marriage of one Jason McNabb and Adrienne Lindholm. We departed after my morning class on Thursday. Stopping in Denver was nice. Dan and Jenn grilled veggie kabobs and burgers, and we actually got to hang out with them there. Usually we’re rolling in at about 10pm.
The next day, we hit the road at 8, so we got to the Black Hills around 3:30. We found the Nemo Ranch, didn’t see the bride or groom with the others setting up, so we took the pups on a much-needed hike. We took in the green and water around us, reveling in the beautiful rock faces EVERYWHERE that captured the groom’s heart when he was young and eventually brought climbing to Bryan when the two met in college. The hike was nice, though we remembered that mosquitos exist outside of Santa Fe.
After that, we headed to the ranch to meet up with Jason and Adrienne. We helped them set up the dance floor, a random dude offered us a Bud Light, and old climbing friends of Bryan’s showed up with their families. Slack lines went up, kids and parents wrestled in the green grass, and we got free pizza for helping very minimally. It was so nice to see Bryan reunited with old friends. Then off we went to the hotel in Rapid City, which was glorious. I never wanted to leave.
We brought the bride and groom some globe lights from Target Boutique, put them up on the food tent, and headed out to hike the Centennial Trail from Dalton Lake. It was so nice to see so much water before and after our uphill, dry hike.
As we pulled up to the trailhead, we realized we were about to hike the course of a mountain bike race. We went anyway, and got to cheer on many tired mountain bikers as they climbed up and up and up on their way from Mount Rushmore to Sturgis. They were on mile 45 of 100, so they were wearing thin. The dogs kept having to be hauled off the trail and out of their way, but we remarked how gracious and kind mountain bikers are compared to road cyclists. We’re both, so we can make whatever sweeping generalizations we like. It was great to see the leaders come through and then all the way down to the slowpokes in the back (where I would be). We even saw a kid who could not have been more than 14 shredding away on it. 100 miles! Most kids his age are knee deep in Mountain Dew and Call of Duty at that time of day. What a B.A. There were also at least 3 women out there too. Props because I would die. Now Bryan wants to do that race. Training in Santa Fe would be the way to do it!
After the slow descent, what with moving off the trail for passing cyclists, we had to haul ass back to the hotel to get ready. We got all gussied up in record time. When we pulled up to the wedding, old friends rushed up to Bryan. It was sweet how glad they all were to see one another. I guess it had been almost 7 years since he’d seen a lot of these folks who were all homies from many hours spent at VE (the Duluth climbing gym) together and then out on real rock in the area.
We wedding itself was lovely. Adrinne looked absolutely stunning, and I almost cried (story of my life) when Jason saw her coming his way. They have us beat with shortness of ceremony, which I didn’t think was possible. Adrienne’s younger brother officiated with a balance of humor and sentimentality. Then we hung out, watched the kids break in the dance floor, ate pulled pork that had been smoking for two days, and celebrated love. It took a long time, and “Wagon Wheel” (not that garbage country version — the real OCMS version) to get us out on the dance floor. I did have to drag Bryan, but it was worth it. We slack lined (I’m horrible even with people on both sides and it approximately 1 foot off the ground), laughed at the cuteness of everyone’s kids, and Bry caught up with everyone.
I decided if we have babies we’ve got to get a crew of friends to have them at the same time. Bry’s friends Karl, Abbey, Todd, and Sarah all have kids around the same time and live in Minneapolis. They drove out in a 14 passenger van, camped along the way, and rented a cabin together. The kids ran around everywhere and it looks like the way to do parenthood. Who’s comin’ with me? Not convinced? That’s cool. Anyway, I danced a lot as the night went on, mostly with the ladies, and had a blast.
We were sad to say goodbye, but with nearly being done with Bread Loaf, we’ll have more time in a couple years to take Black Hills trips (and Teton trips), so I know we’ll see J & A again soon. We’re also trying to get them to come see the yurt, or at least visit in Santa Fe.
The drive home was brutal, especially because I wanted to sleep forever in that hotel bed. Bryan’s a trooper, so we got home quickly and safely. When we got home, however, ready to collapse into bed, there was mouse poop and piss all over our dishes, food spaces, etc. Hurrah! Mice!