Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Our Trek - Day Eleven through Thirteen (July 31st)

This was the last day of sightseeing for us. Everything after that was just travel to get home. On this day, we went to Mt. Rushmore in Keystone, South Dakota. We took the little trail that gives you various vantage points of the mountain. It was a beautiful day - clear, blue skies and made for great pictures of the mountain. We enjoyed an informational lecture about the sculptor and shopping in a large gift shop while we were there.
After a picnic in the area (it was beautful), we drove a little ways down the road to see the Crazy Horse Monument that is being sculpted out of the mountain. We did not enter the park, but were able to see the monument from the road. If you've never heard of this monument, its worth reading about here.

As we traveled across most of South Dakota to reach our day's destination (a hotel in Mitchell), we noticed a mini-van with a luggage carrier on top. The luggage carrier was coming unlocked and was flapping in the wind. We honked and motioned for them to pull over and used some of our extra straps to help them get it secured. As we talked to them, we learned that they were from Florida and were headed home from tent camping in the Yellowstone area! It was fun to help them and meet new people.
We also stopped at the famous Wall Drug Store in Wall, South Dakota. This place is a huge tourist trap, but was fun to experience. Its humorous that such a funny place in the "middle of nowhere" can have such notoriety!
We spent the night in a hotel. The next morning, we couldn't find our daughter's shoes. We looked everywhere in our room and everywhere in my parent's room. They were no where to be found. Finally, we woke up our 3 year old son and asked him if he knew where they were. He immediately told us that he had put them in the freezer section of the mini frig in the room! Those were some cold shoes to put on :)!
Day twelve found us turning southward through Iowa and arriving at my parent's house in Kansas City at about 4:30pm. Along the way, we drove past a bizare place called Porter's Sculpture Park where there were giant sculptures of different items. We also a quick stop at a museum in Souix City, Iowa. When we got to St. Joseph, Mo, we visited the Pony Express museum and drove by the house where Jesse James was killed.

We were up early on day 13 to begin our 2 day journey to our house in AL. Things went very smoothly and when we reached Nashville, where we had planned to stay the night, we decided to keep on moving. We drove all the way home, arriving at 2 AM on day fourteen. We fell into our own bed for the 1st time in 2 weeks and spent the day resting and reminiscing! We are so grateful that we had the opportunity to go on this trip. What a blessing! Our children still talk about it every day and we can not get those grand vistas out of our minds. I am looking forward to developing some of my pictures to hang in our house and put in scrapbooks. What an awesome adventure! We're ready to go again!

To see more photos taken on day eight, click on any picture below. When the album pops up, click on the slideshow icon to watch slideshow.

(photos by Leah Belle @Sweet Tea are copyrighted and may not under any
circumstances be used without express permission)


Jenn said...

Loved reading about your vacation. Thanks for sharing. :o)

Nan said...

I remember that day of our trip. Mount Rushmore and Wall Drug. Mount Rushmore is awesome. Loved it. Wall Drug on the other hand... we absolutely HAD to stop after ALL. Of. those. ridiculous. signs on the road! I had to see what all the fuss was about.

NOTHING. Wall Drug was the most unimpressive tourist trap ever! LOL And I have to say... though the Black Hills are beautiful, South Dakota is one of the most boring states to drive across. I hear Saskatchewan is worse though. I don't even want to think about it!

We took that same route two summers ago! :^D We ran into nasty weather in and near Kansas City. That's about all I remember of that part of the trip.

Anonymous said...

seems like you guys had a great time, loved all your pictures!

Tonja said...

Mount Rushmore is an awesome sight isn't it? I saw it years ago and remember it still. Your pictures have been so good. What a good lesson for your children to see you stop and help strangers. They won't forget that either.

April said...

I enjoyed reading all about your trip. Glad you all a great time!

Kelley said...

What a beautiful trip! Loved all the pictures too.

My grandparents took me to Mt. Rushmore on a road trip from Arizona to Michigan when I was a kid. Your pictures reminded me how spectacular it is! (We have a place in Atlanta called Stone Mountain that was sculpted by the same artist.)

Bryan & I have always wanted to take our kids on a vacation to Yellowstone.

Cindy Swanson said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Isn't Mount Rushmore awesome? It more than lives up to the hype.

Enjoyed your blog!

Cindy Swanson said...

Oh, by the way, Nan...I totally agree with you about Wall Drug! What a tourist trap.

Nan said...

Hope all is well since we haven't heard from you in a couple of days! Don't miss out on all my soap contests this week!

JennaG said...

You had such a great vacation. I loved SD when we went--we went to Mt Rushmore, the badlands, a prairie town, and the corn palace, and of course Wall drug. What great memories you will always have.