Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Twenty-Four Years Ago Today....

Jim and I made it official - we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Happy Anniversary, sweetheart! I'm so glad we found each other, and I love you even more today than that hot July day in 1985 when we started off on our new lives together.

We have always loved spending time on the road. Our dates most often consisted of a drive around town, or around the area, just spending time looking at the sights and talking. As a matter of fact, our very first date wasn't really a "date" at all. Jim had been calling me for a few months, ostensibly to ask questions about some issue or another related to the Wage and Benefit Committee at work, of which we were both members. Finally, he asked me out. I said yes, and we set a date about 3 weeks out (we were both working shift work on different schedules at the time, and that was the soonest we could find a time we were both off).

About 9:00 p.m. the night after that phone call, I was settling in, getting ready to go to bed when the doorbell rang. Yes, there was Jim! He was working graveyard that night and was out for a drive before work and thought he'd just stop by to see if I wanted to go out for a cup of coffee! That started a habit with us, and we'd go for drives often after that. A road trip was a grand adventure to us then, as it still is today. I wouldn't trade a minute of our time together over the last 24 years, and sure hope we have at least that many more!

Something else that we both love to do is take pictures. We've always had at least 2 cameras, and somewhere in boxes stored at our childrens' homes are hundreds of pictures we've both taken over the years. Thank goodness for digital photography now, it makes our lives a lot easier. I'm sometimes asked which one of us takes the pictures for this journal. We both do! I don't always know who took which pictures that are published, as I download them all and just pick the best:

I took this one as we arrived in the Black Hills this year:

Jim took this one of an old farm near the campground:

And I took this one of an old building near Hill City:

On to our recent adventures! On Sunday, we took it easy and enjoyed the quiet day. We took a quick drive into Custer to walk around the local street fair and do a little shopping. Then we went to Hill City and strolled through a few of the shops there before heading home to share a dinner with the Hall family. Once again, we built a campfire and enjoyed a wonderful evening just visiting.

Yesterday morning, Pat & Mike and Lee Ann & Larry all arrived promptly at 9:00 for a geocaching adventure. Lee Ann and Larry have not been geocaching before, but wanted to learn about it. There is a private geocache that has been placed by the campground owners which Pat & Mike and I wanted to find. I'd gotten the coordinates from Geri and we'd scheduled a time to go last week, but with the wet weather, we'd postponed it. The cache is located about a mile from the campground with some fairly easy (according to Geri) hiking involved.

With a last minute consult to make sure we had the right directions to find the trail and get close to the cache, the 5 of us set off up the hill behind the campground. Fairly easy hiking, well, maybe for horses, but on foot, this was a pretty challenging hike! But we all managed to get to the top of the ridge and started down. Wow, that was even steeper. Going nearly straight down a horse trail - we were all thinking about the climb back up. Finally, we got to the bottom of the hill where the trail met a larger, much better trail. We eventually found the cache!

Yes, the return trip was just as challenging as we thought it would be, but everyone made it back in one piece.

Larry has recently had knee replacement surgery, plus they just arrived at this altitude (around 5,000 ft), a few days ago, so they were really feeling the effects of this hike! I hope that doesn't deter them from further exploring the fun of geocaching, but what troopers they were!

As soon as we got back, it was time to head to Rapid City with Jim, Dortha and Mark. We are preparing for our departure tomorrow, and needed to get some supplies, as we will be in small towns for quite a while, without much opportunity for finding some items. Our first stop was a Mexican grill for a quick lunch and then on to Cabela's, Walmart, Sam's, TJ Maxx, and finally back home.

Our time in Custer is nearly gone - how quickly it's passed. But as much as we love it here, we are ready to put the Castle in gear and continue our awesome road trip!


Anonymous said...

Me Too !!!!! Love.....Jim

Leno said...

Happy Anniversary Ellie and Jim. You are a great couple and so glad we have had the pleasure of meeting you. Look forward to seeing you down the road. Kevin and I have always enjoyed going for a ride too and looking at new scenery. There sure is alot to explore in this beautiful country...

Sandra said...

Happy Anniversary Ellie & Jim! You are both wonderful people and I miss you!

Mark and Dortha said...

Happy Anniversary...We are excited not only to share your anniversay, but to share in this awesome road adventure! We are so blessed to have friends like you two!!


JB said...

Happy Anniversary, enjoy Yellowstone and the rest of your North Western adventure.

Jim and Dee said...

Happy Anniversary you two!! Thanks for the barn pictures, that's one of my loves.

Doug & JoAnn said...

Happy Anniversary!!!! We wish you many more years together and also many more years of traveling!
Hugs, Doug & JoAnn

Randy and Terry said...

Happy Anniversary, Jim & Ellie! We wish you many more years of joy.

The Happy Wanderers said...

Happy Anniversary you guys,
We think of you often as we enjoy your old stomping grounds here in Colorado Springs. We look forward to reading of your adventures in Yellowstone.
Hugs to both of you,
Ed & Marilyn

Mike McFall said...

I'm so glad we got to spend Happy Hour with you both on your Anniversary and give you our Congratulations IN PERSON!!
You are a GRAND couple!!! We are Proud to know ya!!!

Now Custer won't be the same without you.....Travel Safe, Have Fun and Hurry Back!!!

It was fun Geo Caching,,,Thank you so much!!!

Stay in touch!!