We hadn't been on a long hike in awhile and so we decided to hit the Black Elk Peak trail in South Dakota's Black Hills. It's a pretty popular hike and I was quite surprised Joshua was willing to go play among the crowds. But the trail was long enough that even though it was busy we quickly outpaced a lot of the casual hikers and got away from crowds.
The end of the hike is quite steep and ends in very uneven stone stairs that don't quit. We were very satisfied every time someone expressed they couldn't believe we were doing this carrying a baby as they were barely able to carry themselves up it. It was always fun to see how surprised people were to see a 3 month old baby 7 miles into a trail.
Atop the mountain is a stone fire lookout built in the 1930's. From there you can look down at the Cathedral spires that interrupt the landscape. They are a beautiful texture amidst the green pines and look like scaled up versions of when you let wet sand drip into pillars.
After we wandered into the Custer state park to have a dip in the water. Roslyn was medium okay with it and we really enjoyed it. It was about this point that we started swapping showers for dips in the lake. We were finally in an area where the water and air were warm enough, and it was so lovely! Put Joshua in such a good mood he let us go to the tourist shop and wait in line for soft serve ice cream.