Friday, January 1, 2010

Day Nine. South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa

Day Nine Wyoming, South Dakota,Nebraska, Iowa

We woke up refreshed and ready to go. Today was going to be a big day and we were very exciting. Our plans for the day were to see Mt. Rushmore, Devils Tower and the Badlands. We were only about an hour from Mt Rushmore so we saw that first! It is just simply amazing.

However; here is a funny story:

I research and call before we go to make sure the weather/roads are good to go and they are. I see that the park is free to enjoy! (Score!) I neglect to see that you do however; have to pay $10 to park your car. No biggie you think except when we go to enter the park we have no cash – again another no biggie- except for such a well known and highly visited national monument they don’t take credit or debit cards to pay for the parking! Even airports have the option to pay with credit card for parking! The lady agrees to let us in and makes us park the farthest away (outside the parking garage deck) and to go into the gift shop to access the ATM and then swing on by and pay. Which we did and come to find out that parking pass is good for a year – who’s going back after we have already seen it? I don’t think they are going to be putting any new presidents up anytime soon since the whole thing took over 13 years to carve!

Ian walks up and is amazed – he keeps saying look at those big heads! And as we walked closer, the heads kept getting bigger. He really enjoyed the binoculars that were kid size and just the perfect size for him to get a better look at the ‘Big Heads.’

We took a ton of pictures! And then off we went. The next major thing we wanted to see was Devil’s Tower. It was off the road quite a bit but we were sure that we could see it while we were driving – which was the case. I was all excited, because I loved the movie The Close Encounter! I saw it, grabbed my camera, focused and had a perfect shot but then we were going around a bend in the road so I had to wait – got it focus again and clicked so very excited I got the shot – hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Jeff especially liked driving through and seeing the Badlands. This is where his favorite president, Roosevelt, initially kicked some butt. It was covered in snow, but still pretty neat to see.

South Dakota is very boring, and flat. Really not much to see. I joked with my friend Kaisa about living out here. I texted her as we were passing her hometown. I even asked her about the World Famous Tractor Museum that we kept seeing signs for. Even a native born and raised didn’t know what on earth I was talking about. Must not be that World Famous then! Haha.
Since SD is so flat and the rest stops are few and far between we thought we found a bigger stop that had food and gas. Well, come to find out it was just a gas station with no food available for 45 miles. At this point the kids are starving and crying for food. As a good mother what did I do? Let them loose and said pick what ever you want to eat for lunch . (At this critical point I was about to have a melt down. The kids rarely get candy and or chips, so this was an exception to make everyone stay happy at this particular point in the trip!) So there lunch was doughnuts, chips and water! Oh so healthy I know – you would have done the same thing!! Haha.

We also passed the hometown of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I grew up on Little House on the Prairie, and Jeff was so lucky we were traveling with the boys because if it was just us two we totally were stopping there and taking a tour and taking tons of pictures…instead we just drove by the exit and I just wondered what it was like to see!

Another funny thing we saw (I think it was in SD) were all these signs for the McNasty Brothers. It was a two person band what looked to be at a jazz joint. That would have been interesting to see if we were kid free.

We ended up in Souix City, Iowa. We just briefly entered Nebraska for a mile and then back into Iowa – but we are counting it as a state!

Next stop: ST Louis!

Miles Traveled:
Lost count… I think we are up to 4000 at this point.
Animals seen:
Birds, horses, cows.

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