The following blog post is from a Guest on a trip. We wanted to feature it as it answers a few questions that we get quite a bit. We hope you enjoy.
My family is very choosey about vacations. As our three boys get older, it is harder and harder to find a time when we can all be together. Between school, college, sailing, skiing, and all the other activities we do over the year, finding time for a bike trip was a serious challenge.
When we settled on a week that worked for everyone, the folks at Western Spirit suggested biking the Black Hills in South Dakota. I have never even thought about going to South Dakota and it was definitely not on my bucket list. Still, I listened to the folks at Western Spirit about riding though the forest and camping on some beautiful lakes and decided the combo of nature’s beauty, exercise, and great food might be just the family vacation we needed. Plus, the whole trip is at a reasonable altitude–compared to Colorado or other famous out-west destinations – so I was pretty sure everyone would enjoy the biking.
There was the uncertainty of the other people on the trip…I wasn’t at all sure I wanted strangers joining us on vacation. We had done a couple Western Spirit trips before, but they were private trips, so we knew everyone already. This was the biggest and best surprise of all. We thoroughly enjoyed the other folks we met on our trip.
Bottom line, on a scale of 1 to 10, the trip was a 12. The guides Chris Abell and Terrin Frey made it easy, fun, relaxing and, well, just tremendous! The riding was a nicely balanced combination of cruisey downhills and nice climbs. The camps were in great spots with easy access to the lakes. Our family goes boating all the time, but there was something especially fun about the trip across the lake on the party barge.
This trip was all about being outside, getting exercise, laughing, smiling and being grateful to have the chance to be in a gorgeous part of the world with my family and other fun, interesting people. Further, I had no responsibilities—I didn’t have to think about what time it was, when I needed to start dinner (or breakfast or lunch!), if the boat had gas, whether the gears on my bike would work smoothly—I just got to enjoy my husband and sons, pedal my heart out and kick back.