Friday morning. Grant and Dad wake up early to go out and take sunrise photos. I’d also like to point out that Grant slept the most on the drive out to Buffalo, but while he was up early he went with dad into town and got us some cereal and juice for breakfast, which was much appriciated.
Derrick and I awoke around 10am and took our time getting ready. When we did finally make it out we walked into some true Buffalo weather. The temperature was somewhere aroound 100 degrees and we joined the rest of the group talking in the shade.
We called Grandpa to find out if he wanted to come out riding with us and he indicated that he would like us to come and join him for lunch at the senior center. We drove into town with our empty gas cans along. I was the first to open the door to the senior center and immediately turned around and exited. The room smelled so much of what I can only describe as moth balls that I did not think I could handle even standing inside. Dad and Derrick would soon join me sitting outside on the curb recovering from our moments of nose invasion. Soon Grandpa came out and told us it was time to come in and so we took some deep breaths and entered. After eating our food and exiting in record time we walked over to the grocery store and rewarded ourselves with push pops.
Following a quick refill of the gas cans we returned to the house and loaded up the quads for a ride led by Grandpa. We headed out from the house to some of the hills on the west side of the house. On one of the hills Grandpa showed us where Buffalo Bill had signed his name in 1871 on a rock at the top.
He leads us to a hill toped with a rock that has a hole in it center. Grandpa informs us that he has never climbed this hill and probably never will, so he’d like us to climb up there and take some close up pictures of that rock for us. And so we do.
We also make another discovery, this hill is home to a strange insect that looks like an ant but flies. Justin herby names thease creatures flants.
We also stopped at a water collection area on our acerage. Grandpa informed us that the wll works by pumping air into the ground which pushes the water up. Interestingly enough this is the same method that is used in some of the oil rigs on our land.
Grandpa also helped clarify some other questions about the area. In the family trust that was left to Mumu’s (great grandma) decendents there are 1440 acres of land.
But if you include land owned by other sides of the family there’s as much as 45,000 acres of land we use for grazing and hay. That’s over 70 square miles! Way cool.
Later we found a spot where weather had cut a crevas into the ground which created a very large hole with steep hills on each side. From the bottom some of the hills were at least 3 stories high with a very steep grade. Jacob was the first to try the walls of dirt followed by Justin. It took some convincing on their parts to get Derrick and I to even try it, but eventually we mustered up some curage and climbed some walls that looked near impossible when standing at the bottom. Grant had also found a hill so we went over and ran up that one.
Sometime soon after we ran into David and started heading out to the homested, but Derrick had to switch his gas tank over to reserve so he headed back to the house before running out of gas.
When we got out to the homestead Grandpa would point out what this building was used for, who stayed in that room, perhaps a story that he remembered when we inquired about a partiular object…always very interesting.
Following our exploration we jumped back on the quads and headed back to the house. On the way there Grant broke the chain on his banshee (not that it was his fault, it was probably caused by a rock) and had to be towed the rest of the way. When we got back Jacob determined that there would be no repairing it while we were still in Buffalo so Grant was given permission from Grandpa to ride his spare machine.
For diner that night we went over to Great Great Aunt Tynne (can’t spell) and Great Uncle David’s apartment complex. We had grilled ham and hamburgers and it was delicious.
When we got back Justin and Jacob wanted to go climb Red Butte, so Derrick and I decided to join them. We had to hurry because light was falling fast, but we did reach the top in time, and I was able to get some shots. We also held a very intellectual conversation at the top of the hill contemplating the pros and cons of gun ownership in the United States (many referances to the movie Red Dawn were used).
After returning from the hill we all hung out at the house and waited for darkness to come.
Once all light had left the sky we prepped ourselves for the annual “Midnight Ride.” We all threw on some extra layers and topped off the fuel tanks before following David’s lead heading north. We drove for 90 minutes at an average speed of around 40 mph, before stopping somewhere across the north/south Dakota border. There we layed down in the middle of the road and watched the stars above. Derrick claimed to have seen over 20 shooting stars – I’m not so sure there were that many, but we all did see some.
We lay there on the road for another hour singing journey songs, talking, listening to the sounds of the bullls on the other side of the fence 20 feet from us. After climbing back onto our quads we began our return trip to the house. I must admit that in the pitch black I had no clue where we were and would have been helpless to find my way home without the use of my Garmin that I had along. It also indicated that the top speed of my Raptor is approximately 72 mph, of course Derrick found out that his Banshee tops out at about 80mph, but I would end up with the last laugh. Still 10 miles from home Derrick ran out of gas and I had to tow him the rest of the way home.
We finally arived back at the house around 2:30am. In total our trip had lasted over 3 hours and we had traveled nearly 70 miles. Another Midnight Ride in the books.