(Day 1) Driving adventure begins from St. Louis, Missouri to Rapid City, South Dakota! With cargo and bike racks freshly installed on our SUV we pulled out of the driveway to begin 15-hour drive.
With a 4am start things were going well until 30 minutes in we realized an important work folder was left behind…so we turned around – let’s make that a 16-hour drive ahead! Ever wonder if you were in a car all day with kids how many times they would ask, ‘When are we going to be there or are we there yet?!’ We opted to keep tally and ended at 82 before arriving at our cabin in the Black Hills late evening! Once settled in, house seemed quaint until mouse scurried across the living room and ran out the chimney…
(Day 3) Landlord contacted (obviously!) and we hit the road early to see Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Custer State Park. As we followed the Presidential Trail, the boys were intrigued learning about how the faces in the mountain got there and enjoyed completing a series of activities to earn their Mount Rushmore Junior Ranger badges.
Then we went to Wildlife Loop Road for what we now refer to as our ‘safari’ – we had the opportunity to see lots of buffalo, deer and feed churros right from our car window!
With great landscapes and forest feel in the Black Hills, we were excited to go quickly pack our things and move to a newer, very spacious cabin (notable upgrade compliments of beyond sympathetic landlord).
(Day 4) Aaron ventured off to Badlands National Park for a 30-mile bike ride and enjoyed the unique views.
The boys and I stayed at our new cabin and took advantage of the amenities – we had fun reading, playing games, painting pictures & pinecones, hiking, biking and playing baseball. Then got locked out on the balcony by Samuel before being rescued by a neighbor!
(Day 5) Headed out at 3am and were the first visitors at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming at 4:15am. Full day in the car as we headed toward Glacier National Park in Montana…
- “Just call George – he can do it/find it/fix it!” (i.e., Aaron called in route home from Badlands, 45 min out, I walked out on a balcony so I could hear better on the phone….boys followed and Samuel locked us out! With storm clouds quickly approaching…landlord sent over a neighbor named George to rescue us…thus Samuel now thinks random nice gentleman on 4-wheeler is capable of all things at a minutes notice…regardless of task, city or state!)
- “This bread tastes like pizza dough, if we put it in the oven it would turn into a pancake!”
- “What just happened? Did the sun break?”
- “You can’t get anywhere close to the sun because it’s made of fire and it will burn your rocket and space boots.”
- “That’s a fabulous idea – we haven’t done that (i.e., make s’mores & look at stars) in like 100 years!”
- “I hope our cabin has bunk beds.” “Well, I hope it is full of scary ghosts!”
Thank you for taking time to share in our journey – next up Glacier National Park in Montana – remote days filled with notable animals and adventurous hikes!