I want you all to come stay at my house

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you’re likely imagining that a stay at my house would be something like a combination of Fixer-Upper, Hoarders, Unsolved Mysteries and Dr Pol.

When we started work on the place it was the best adventure ever for our dogs. There were no doors – so they could run in and out at will. The house was full of a myriad of varmints, which they promptly dispatched. Including a skunk. Most people don’t buy houses that may have skunks in them. But we did.

This isn’t the first time I’ve invited folks over to see an imperfect situation. There was the time I accidentally initiated a photo shoot here for the Angie’s List Magazine, forgetting the fact that part of the house was still very much in the process of being renovated. Again. After that, I inadvertently scheduled a whole house tour with a group of folks who’d lived here half a century ago.

But this time is different. I am talking about another house entirely.

My parents have done some adventurous things with their retirement years, one of which involved, through a series of convoluted events, the acquisition of a rental property 1,100 miles away from our Indiana homes. It’s a great big house tucked away in the mountains, at the end of some winding gravel roads. With. White. Carpet.

They thought it would be fun to have a place to stay while they explored all the things there are to do in the Black Hills of South Dakota. And being the practical folks they are, they decided to maximize the use of the house and rent it out when they were not staying there; they recruited a local company to take care of that part for them. Did I mention it has white carpet?

So – a white carpeted house – 1,100 miles away – being inhabited by strangers and taken care of by more strangers. What could possibly go wrong? Turns out, not much. The management company has done a great job keeping everything in order (carpet included) and the guests have all been wonderful. Other than minor maintenance necessities, the place has been a whole lot of fun for everyone involved. Myself included; one visit there resulted in me bringing home a very big souvenir – a horse.

After visiting the Black Hills for over 10 years, Mom and Dad decided they’d seen all they needed to see, and asked my husband and I to assume to role of looking after the details of the property. So – I am delighted to announce that I am now affiliated with a house that is completely finished, decorated, and immaculately clean – inside and out. A truly ironic and laughable “achievement” that I honestly never expected to happen to me in my life – example why here. So, I’d like to invite you all to check this out.

Disclaimer: the white carpet that I was crowing about was recently replaced with this lovely taupe color – in just the living room and hallway. Upstairs game room and all the bedrooms are still white. Fun Fact: The saddle hanging on the wall is the one I used when I was in 4H in the 1970’s.

With room for about 14 guests to sleep (5 bedrooms, 4 baths) it’s a great accommodation spot for a group of friends or family wanting to explore the Black Hills together. Mount Rushmore is about an hour’s drive away, Sturgis (Bike Week) is 19 miles, and Deadwood, (for which the famed HBO series was named) is only 7 miles. Rates start at $395/night, which is pricey (to me) but not so much if you consider all the extras that you get. Including the use of the kitchen, which is already somewhat stocked for all types of cooking. If you wanna make waffles, it’s ready for that. Margaritas? Check. Steaks on the grill? Yup.

The kitchen is quite large; plenty of room for multiple people to be in there cooking. Directly to the right is a patio door that leads to the deck where the grill is, so you can work in the kitchen and keep an eye on the grill at the same time.

You also get full use of the washer and dryer (detergent is supplied), and there’s an big game room with pool table and foosball table. And white carpet.

It’s hard to see here – but in the background below that green light is a full size pool table. There’s also a computer in this room, and wifi if you bring your own. There are big tvs in the main rooms and smaller tvs in all the bedrooms.

The management company tells us that this house has an amenity that most of their others do not: a giant garage that you drive right into – and you’re literally in the house. Your vehicles are just down the hall from the bedrooms so no slogging back and forth making sure everything is secure like you’d have to do at a motel.

My folks are into old Fords; this 1940 convertible is one of their collection. You can see here how the garage is integrated into the house. The deck wraps all the way around, so there’s additional protection from the elements getting in from outside. In the winter months, this area is very popular with snowmobilers and skiers. Terry Peak Ski Area is only 5 miles away.

There’s a big (6-7 people) hot tub on the back deck that has an awesome view. And the pine tree smell is heavenly. It’s located just off of the game room, so a great spot for grownups to relax with adult beverages while the kids play within sight and earshot.

And the view is not just pine trees. We spotted this little fawn left nestled in the leaves by his mama, just a few yards from the house. Wild turkey are also common here.

Everywhere you look here is beautiful. There are several national parks close by; though just driving from one town to the next yields views of impressive and varied terrain. I snapped this picture of the route to Spearfish, SD; most of this twisty windy road is dotted with occasional rest stops with picnic areas and hiking trails.

Spearfish, SD is an awesome little town. One of my fave destinations there is the DC Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery. Congress funded a bill to create a Black Hills fish hatchery. In 1896. The museum on the site is filled with all sorts of unlikely things that they would have needed to hatch trout and stock rivers; like baskets made to carry them horseback to the sites.

If you’d like more info about reserving this magical place for your own Black Hills adventure, you can submit a request here. For available dates and pricing specifics, go here, or call Amber at Black Hills Premier Vacation Homes 605-759-0332.

Wanna read more?

Is this all I do? Post pictures and stories about life here on the farm? Nope! HoofPrints.com is my “real” job.

You can read more posts about horses here

For more fun on the farm, go here

Adventures in remodeling are here

Is the house haunted? There are some stories about that here

Laughable housekeeping advice is here


  1. My husband Robert Trudeau was a Farrier in Central Massachusetts for over 50 years. I used to order many items from your catalog for him and myself and friends! He died last March But he always enjoyed the gifts I gave him from your catalog


    • No place for horses at the house, unfortunately. I also tried hard to get the management company to make it dog friendly, and they said (based on their experience) that is a recipe for disaster. This horse facility is 15 miles away but has human lodging also. https://haycreekranch.net/index_SD.htm Will check into this further and get back to you.


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