Wednesday, October 19, 2016

National Park Trip 2016 {Mount Rushmore & Wind Cave National Park}

The trip through Wyoming to South Dakota wasn't a short one, but it was beautiful.  
Sometimes you have to get out and stretch.

We got to Mount Rushmore just as the sun was going down.  It was perfect timing because their evening program is at 9:00 each night.  We hadn't eaten dinner and our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were wearing thin.  We snapped a few pictures and got some dinner in the cafeteria.  

Don't let these pictures fool you... there were lots of people.  I just waited for awhile as to not get them in my picture ;) 



During the program, they show a movie which tells you about the history of Mount Rushmore and why each of the presidents was chosen to be on the monument.  So interesting.  I honestly had no idea.  Then the Ranger talked for a bit and allowed every person who had served in the military to come up front and take down the flag.  They all said their name and rank and years they served.  The whole thing was inspiring, and sitting there with all five boys, made me wonder if any of them will choose to serve our country, and how it would make me scared and proud at the same time.

When the program ended, we were walking up the steps and Asher said to me, "I haven't felt good about America in a long time, but I feel good about America tonight."  Sweet boy.

I wasn't sure if Mount Rushmore was going to be worth it.  After all, it's just some faces carved in the side of a mountain.  But again, we left feeling inspired and proud to be Americans.  So I say it's worth the stop!
The next day we headed to Wind Cave, just a short drive.  It was Graham and Nathan's favorite stop.  It's not much to look at when you drive up.  It's just a big, vast prairie.  Underneath the ground is a system of caves so vast, they haven't even been able to explore more than 10 percent of it.  You can sign up for tours and we thoroughly enjoyed ours.  Graham wants to go back and do the four hour crawling tour (you have to be 16 to do it).  I told him he'd have to go on that tour by himself!  But the walking tours are super cool.  It's dry and cool down there and it's simply amazing.

This is the only picture of us I took, as we were descending.  It's less creepy than I thought it would be, but I can't say I wasn't happy to see the light of day after being down there an hour! :)

It's a must-see if you are in the Black Hills area, in my opinion.


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