If you haven't been to Rapid City, SD, you should go. It's a pretty cool place, tourism galore! I could not believe how much there was to see and do there!
Mount Rushmore was our drawing attraction. It's only about 6 hours from here, so we thought we would take a weekend trip.
We went a few days after David's birthday and listened to Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt on the way up and back. I highly recommend the book. I very much recommend books on tape while traveling too.
Mount Rushmore was very fun. From the first peek at the mountain, you knew it was a neat place.
I must admit, it was a little different than I thought. I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe it being bigger? The more we were there though, the more awe-inspiring it really was.
We took a rager-led tour around the President's trail. After the first couple, the ranger stopped letting me answer the questions. I guess I knew too much. Maybe it was those library books we read the week before we left.
The trail gave us different angles of the mountain and views of the beautiful Black Hills.
I really liked Mount Rushmore.
We stayed that first night in a Rapid City hotel and woke up the next morning refreshed and ready to go.
Although there is A TON of stuff to see, we decided on some nice free sightseeing spots to spend our second day. And we were not disapointed.
Our first stop was the Museum at the SD School of Mines. They had dino bones, rocks, fossils, and much more. Samuel was excited to see a Triceratops head (among other things).
David was a pretty good sport hangin' in the stroller.
After the museum we went to downtown Rapid City. It's pretty small, maybe the size of Idaho Falls. They have a fun attraction there, well I guess 39 of them. Presidents on street corners.
We took pictures of almost all of them, but I'll spare you all the pictures. Here's a few highlights:
George Washington (of course!)
Richard Nixon (I love this photo because of the kids' expressions!)
And Thomas Jefferson.
After the "City of Presdients" we headed up to Dinosaur Park. Here they have life-size dinos made out of concrete. All ready for climbing fun.
Bet you can't guess who loved it the most...
Next stop was Storybook Island. I loved this place. How could you not love it when Humpty Dumpty greets you as he is falling off the wall.
It is a park full of fairy tales, nursery rhymes and just plain FUN!! I'll let the photos tell the rest.
Our last stop was at the fish hatchery. They were just about to close up for the day, but gave us a big bucket of fish food. The kids loved throwing in the food and watching the fish jump all over. I have to admit, I enjoyed watching them too!
After all that sightseeng, we got shakes at Sonic and wound our way down the Iron Mountain Road. It was tiwsty, but beautiful!
We also drove through Custer State Park and saw a 400-head heard of buffalo!
We found a campground, set up our tent and cooked dinner (and smores!)
The nighttime was, well...eventful. So that we could all fit in our little tent, Jeff spread out the sleeping bags on the bottom of the tent and we had blankets on top of us. It was a little colder than we anticipated, and super hard to get comfortable. Jeff and I were both a bit worried about David, so we didn't sleep very well.
At about midnight, Samuel started coughing, then I heard the horrible sound of him throwing up. Light showed that he had done it in Eliza's hair, then turned and wiped everything on Sarah. My first thought was, "That's it! Let's just go home!" then I remembered that "home" was 6 hours away. I was so grateful that our campground had showers. Eliza and I tromped up to get her all cleaned up and Sarah changed into her clothes for the next day. We lost about 3 blankets but somehow we managed to sleep a little. Oh, the adventures!
We woke up the next morning and had a little breakfast. We were too tired to do anything big, so we went and saw Mount Rushmore one more time, then drove home. It was definitely a trip to remember!