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Black Hills snowstorm extends girl’s weekend get-away
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

October 21. 2013 8:03AM
Sharon Bouwman can cross an item off of her “bucket list.”

“I’ve always had on my ‘bucket list’ to experience a snowstorm in the Hills,” tells the Brandon woman.

Bouwman, along with nine other 60-something women from Luverne, Minn., did just that earlier this month when the Black Hills area was hit by an untimely and devastating October snowstorm.

“We knew there was a storm coming,” Bouwman confesses. But no one in the group ever imagined just what the storm was packing.

The group headed to their cabin on Deer Mountain Thursday, and that evening it started to rain later turning to snow. By 6 p.m. Friday, more than 43 inches of it surrounded the cabin.

“Friday you couldn’t see anything, but Saturday was sunny and mild,” Bouwman said.

Throughout Friday, power was lost intermittently, and by 7 p.m., it was gone for good.

The lack of electricity also eliminated running water. But there must have been a few “survivor types” in the group.

“Someone had the insight to say we should fill the bathtubs with water,” she said.
The cabin, fotunately, had three.

The all-women crew also had the foresight to cook up all of their food they had brought on Friday before losing power. Throughout the weekend, they reheated it outside on a grill.

“That was a saving grace,” Bouwman said.

Two fireplaces, fueled by propane, kept the cabin very comfortable, she said, and they kept a couple of cell phones charged by starting up their vehicles a few times.
“We always had communication, which surprised us,” she said.

One of the women’s main concerns was not running short on food, but running short on wine, she said.

The women wiled away the time playing games, reading, knitting and simply talking.

“We didn’t lack for any entertainment,” she said. “There was no drama and there was always laughter somewhere in the house. We can look back onit and say ‘we braved it and we survived it,’ ” she said.

Bouwman said the group isn’t letting this year’s trip hinder future getaways.

“It was an adventure,” she said, “But it’s already in the making.”

A group of 10 women, including Sharon Bouwman of Brandon (not pictured) cheer on their "rescuer" as they are dug out of their cabin on Deer Mountain in the Black Hills earlier this month. Pictured are, from left, Rhonna Jarchow, Shirley Klosterbuer, Carol Serie and Judy Shelman, all of Luverrne, Minn. Submitted photo

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