We arose very early this morning in order to beat the rush to Mt. Rushmore.The sight was really worth the sacrifice!It was a very inspiring sight in the early morning light of a beautiful day.It took 14 years to complete the sculpture.It is the tallest peak between the Rockies and the Alps.Ninety percent of the sculpturing was done with dynamite.Yet, their faces are very detailed and well defined.We ate breakfast on an outdoor terrace right under the noses of those powerful men.
And, of course, we visited the gift shop.It is our secondary occupation out here touring the parks.Jimmy and Clark grow weary of all the gift window shopping.All four kids have acquired some great tee-shirts.One that we bought in the farmland area thatmakes me laugh everytime I look at itsays,"Will trade brother for tractor" (and has the John
Deere logo on it…the girls fight over who gets to wear it. We also tell one boy or the other we're trading them in every time we see a John Deere dealership.)
We left Mount Rushmore, and went back to our campsite to pack up and move out.We are getting very quick at breaking it all down and vamoosing.We were back on Interstate 90 again for many, many miles across South Dakota.We were all surprised what a pretty state it is. Honestly, it was gorgeous. We made another stop in South Dakota, the town of Wall.We saw prolific signage for Wall Drug for miles, so we had to make the stop.This is the granddaddy of all gift shops!It actually extends over one long block.The entire little town is literally made up of gift shops.In place of parking meters, they have metal poles with metal horse heads to tie your horses up.It is an old western town gone somewhat modern to attract tourists.We had ice cream in a shop full of old tiffany lights and I think you could buy just about anything you could think of in this little town.There were lots and lots of people.I don't know how so many people could appear in the middle of all these rolling plains where you saw so little civilization.But, as the saying goes, "Build it and they will come."
We trekked on to just east of Sioux Falls and just west of Minnesota, and bedded down at our first Jellystone Campground.We arrived shortly before dark and the kids got to jump on this giant jumping pillow.They had a blast.We cheated on camping that night as we settled down in a cabin with a real bathroom, a real individual shower, and a real flat screen TV.Paige and I did a ton of laundry and really enjoyed our stay at this great campground in Brandon, SD.