We were so glad to have a slower day today! Our longest stretch was the 1 ½ hour drive between the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore — a welcome change of pace from the 10 ½ hour drive yesterday from Des Moines KOA, IA to the Badlands Interior Campground, SD.
On the Way
We did enjoy the scenery on that long drive yesterday, though. The rolling grassy hills of Nebraska were beautiful — covered with lush prairie grasses and wildflowers. Anthony pulled our big rig over to the side of an open, deserted highway, and we let the kids get out and run around a bit. (Yes we do that even when traveling in a motor home!) Of course the girls LOVED the wildflowers, and Mom did too.
After breakfast this morning we packed up our camper (which just means we “unmade” the beds, washed up a few dishes, and pulled in the slide-out), and headed for Badlands National Park. Anthony and I had already seen the Badlands, but this was the kids’ first time, and there were plenty of oohs, ahhs, and “Whoa! Look at that!”s. We drove the Badlands loop road, pulling off at a few overlooks and walking a short distance on one of the trails.
It really is an amazing sight to come up on after driving through the SD prairies. We had to wonder what it would have been like to have been one of the first early explorers who discovered it.
After stopping to make sandwiches for lunch in Wall, SD, home of the famous Wall Drug store (we checked it out; it’s a major tourist trap!), we finished our jaunt toward Mt. Rushmore.
The kids had mixed reactions as the faces came into view from the highway. Some thought it would be bigger, some were wowed.
Here’s kind of a neat view of some of the 50 state flags flanking the walkway leading up to the observation area.
Check out the VA flag (right) waving right there in front of the monument. Directly across from it waves the WY flag, the state we’ll be visiting tomorrow.
After watching an interesting movie about how the monument was made, we treated the kids to ice cream. Had to share cones — they cost as much as a box of ice cream, or two!
On the way out the kids picked out postcards to send back to family and friends.
We’re ending the day here at Lake Park Campground in Rapid City, SD.
Until next time,