Rushmore and Wind Cave

Our first for the day was taking our first showers in the camper!  It was also the first time that I wore makeup in about two weeks!  Refreshed, we headed out to see Rushmore in the morning.  It was quite a different experience than going at night, which was peaceful and reflective.  The morning was full of people, many veterans and patriots.

The kids grabbed their Junior Ranger booklets, and we decided to take in a Ranger Led Talk about the women behind the men.  We followed the Presidential Trail around, stopping along the way and came across the Youth Exploration Area where the 5th Descendent of Chief Red Cloud, Darrell Red Cloud told the story of Mother Nature.

The whole group was enchanted and listened intently to his story, which again left me with unsettled feeling regarding the treatment of the Indian peoples as America became what it is today.  The kids were able to learn about and handle many items the Indians made from buffalo and ask questions.

We walked through the Visitor Center, watched the film about the making of the monument and the kids completed another badge.  After that, we headed south and stopped off for a picnic at Breezy Point Picnic Area.  It was beautiful, peaceful and a great day for it!

We enjoyed a scenic Drive around Custer State Park, and ended up going to Wind Cave.  We weren’t really prepared for it (we had no warm clothes) but didn’t know if time would allow us to come back and do both Wind Cave and Jewel Cave.

We took the last Natural Entrance tour of the day at Wind Cave, which contains 95% of the world’s boxwork.  It was just over an hour and about 300 stairs, mostly down with an elevator ride back to the top.  The kids earned another Junior Ranger badge, and survived despite us forgetting to wear warmer clothes.  On our way out, there was pure joy from the kids as we drove through a field of prairie dogs yipping!



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