A common question I've been asked since returning, and rightfully so. After much consideration, I have decided that there is a simple answer- being with family.
As I've grown up these past couple of years, I've noticed that slowly, we are going our separate ways. I'm off to college next month, my sister is in her senior year, and I haven't even seen my brother since January, working in SD on the train and all. It's so sad! But it's growing up and I must accept that fact.
I'm noticing how much more difficult it is to do things as a family. We're close as all get out, don't get me wrong, it's just that as young adults, we all have different ideas of what we want to do. Different agendas, priorities, and lifestyles. Instead of waking up in the morning and hopping into the car because Mom said so, we now have arguments on what's to be done.
Normal, of course, but altogether tough sometimes; however, on this trip, we put aside some of those problems and settled to the fact that we didn't need some spectacular activity, just something to do as a family, together.
Well what better way than to ride a train? I daresay that's a fine idea.
It was mostly centered round my brother, seeing as he works there and all, plus our lack of seeing him. Anton is officially dubbed a "hostler" and "fireman" on board the 1880 Train in Hill City, South Dakota. So he gets the engine ready in the mornings, fixes it up on breaks, and then accompanies the engineer on the trip to Keystone and back.
To see him up there, overalls caked in oil and with a gigantic grin on his face.. my goodness. Words could not describe how overjoyed and proud I was to see him doing what he loves. And to see him talk so ecstatically about his work is amazing. I never realized how much I missed him until then.
It's a pain sometimes, growing up, but it's also a real treat. To see each other grow into the amazing individuals they always were.. that's pretty special right there.
And truly, there's no better time than spending it with my family.
These are a collection of photographs from the time spent there.. starting with Anton manning the 110 engine, to our very own trips aboard the 1880 Train.