Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Road Trip - Day 14

We woke up early after our first night in the tent (is it just me or is the ground getting harder every year?!?), broke down camp, and went straight to Badlands NP visitor center to get Junior Ranger badges.  We set off to see the rest of Badlands NP thinking it would go pretty quickly, but we were seeing so much and having so much fun that it took much longer than we expected.
Breaking down camp
First we stopped to listen to a fossil talk by one of the park rangers.  Jack volunteered to help and was so sweet and earnest answering questions.  I even learned a lot.

We stopped at a few more viewpoints
Family shot
Kate's photography
Jack's photography
Matt's favorite trip photo
And checked out the prairie dog town.  I have a new found appreciation for prairie dogs after being in South Dakota!
See the prairie dog?
We opted to take the longer, scenic route out of Badlands towards Rapid City.  The kids and Matt all fell asleep while I drove.  We didn't really know where we were going to camp that night, and fortunately we found a great little campground not far from Mt. Rushmore called Horsethief Lake.  We picked a little walk-in site that was relatively private with a great view of the lake.  After setting up camp, we headed to see Mt. Rushmore.

I admit that I thought Mt. Rushmore was something that we *should* see, but I wasn't really expecting to like it.  Honestly, I thought it would be pretty cheesy.  I am happy to report that I was wrong.  It is really well done, really interesting, and a great experience.  We did the walking loop, saw a mountain goat with baby, did the program for our Junior Ranger Badges, found our state flag, and learned a bit about the presidents.  Both kids can even name all four presidents on the monument.  

Mountain goat and offspring
New Mt. Rushmore after Jack becomes President
The nightly light show at Mt. Rushmore is supposed to be impressive and very patriotic, but it was a little late for our family.  Instead we grabbed some hot dogs and s'mores fixins and headed back to our campsite.  I think we were all asleep before the light show even began.
Roasting marshmallows

1 comment:

Penny said...

Mum & Dad have been there - they enjoyed the light show.