Because our dear friends, Rob and Mary, are in North Dakota, we especially wanted to visit that state. We were immediately struck by the splendor of the Badlands, the vast and rolling rock formations and gulleys that sprawl across the land in all directions. ND has a real cowbow culture (see above!), and field after field of blooming sunflowers, grasslands of fragrant sage, and rolling meadows edged with brown-eyed susans. The beauty is subtle but undeniable.
Our friends live about 50 miles off the main highway, and then about 8 miles back on a dirt road - what they call "on the mountain" where they are building a home on land that has been in the family for generations. Rob has done an amazing job of putting up a house by himself, and, although there is still much to complete, he has done so much, so skillfully. His parents, Bob & Edna, live nearby in their lovely home, and we had some meals together there. Best of all was the time catching up after many years apart. Mary and I have been close friends for about 30 years. She was with me when my last baby was born. I love her like a sister, and it was a great joy to have time with her and with Rob.
Rob took us out in an open jeep, driving all over their land. We kept meeting up with his dad, age 86, out riding one of his many horses - something he does every day.In the evening, the family built a camp fire and we sat out under the stars. Chris, Rob & Mary's son, is a performance artist who uses the name "The Rappin' Cowbow". He recited cowbow poetry at the fireside, and then Grandpa Bob sang a few songs - he has a rich, deep voice. Here is the family looking at some of Daniella's art work.It was difficult to say goodbye to ND and get back on the road again......what a terrific visit!