Sunday, August 4, 2013

Vacation 2013 ~ Day One/ The Drive To Mt Rushmore

Our vacation was a lot of time in the car this year but we saw a lot of beauty and for the most part had a great time.  Originally Todd and I thought it would be just Ethan and Noah going because all of the older children had jobs and we thought they could not afford to go without pay.  After Todd posted on Facebook what our vacation plans were, a few of our older children made comment.  Kera wanted to go but she did not have vacation time to take.  Joshua wanted to go and I was very surprised he did have vacation time, so he told us he wanted to go after we made our reservations in Cody, Wyoming for three nights.  We thought, well we may be able to squeeze one more person in the tiny room.  Matthew had vacation time but he did not want to take it.  My gut feeling is he wanted to stay to be with Hannah during her chemo therapy treatment.  This round has been making her sick.  I have such a great son.  Emily wanted to go but was not sure if her manager would allow her the time off.  She ended up telling us about five days before we left.  We began to scramble trying to figure out reservations.  We decided to reserve a camp site in Cody, Wyoming as well; we would take turns who will stay at the campground and who will be in the hotel room.  Our last night we planned all of us to camp in Custer, South Dakota.  We felt we could do this since we had to take two cars now.  We had already reserved a rental car in the beginning and all of us could not fit in it, so Todd had his car looked at prior to leaving, he had to replace the serpentine belt before leaving.  We left Iowa City on July 22 around four pm (Todd and I) after loading both cars and headed to Des Moines to pick up the rental car.  It is much cheaper to rent a car two hours away then close to home.  We also thought we would crash at my Mom's and cut two hours of driving the first day.  The kids were going to leave later because Emily had a funeral to attend.  They arrived about two hours after we did.  I was able to visit with my Dad and Todd met my Grandma Rich for the first time.  She has been bugging to meet him for years, every time we are there, someone is sick.  She is getting up there in age and I told Todd I really wanted to meet her.  She is 90 years old.  We had a nap (about four hours) and left at 2:00 am.  Our first day will be in Keystone, South Dakota.  We took turns driving. I took the first shift.  After four hours of driving the drivers switched.  Todd and I were in one car with the back seat loaded and the kids were all in the other car, Emily and Joshua switched as drivers.  I did not sleep at all in the car.  I could not.  I was afraid of missing the opportunity to take pictures, like this one.

We all had the opportunity to watch the sunrise that morning somewhere in South Dakota.  We stopped at one of the rest area shortly after the sun came up.  I love how some states make the rest area beautiful to the state.  Here is one of South Dakota's.
 I love how the sun is peaking out of the clouds and the tee pee.  The tee pee has lights set up to shine on it at night.  I am sure it is very pretty at night.

Our first day we had to drive ten hours from Des Moines, Iowa to Keystone, South Dakota our first stop Mt Rushmore.  I would say close to five hours of our drive, shortly after we were in South Dakota we started to see billboards for Wall Drug.

They were all like this, with something to make you want to stop at Wall Drug, some stated "Free Ice Cold Water", "Coffee 5 cents" , "Pop 10 cents", and many more attractions advertised.  After we saw one stating "Last Chance To Stop" the kids texted us ... "Wall Drug???"  I shared with Todd what they texted and we both agreed on stopping although we knew all the billboards were a tourist trap.  Wall, South Dakota was going to be our first real stop as tourist.  I packed the camera in the bag to take with us in town.  I wish I left it out to take a picture of the kids when they pulled up next to us in the parking lot.  All four where cheering, thumbs up, they were really whooping it up.  I could hear them inside our car and both cars had the windows rolled up.

 Very true, he is the World's Greatest Grandpa.  
I would have bought it if it said Papa instead of Grandpa.
 I love this kid's sense of humor.  It is so much like mine and Todd's.
Joshua picking up his first girl on vacation.

We spent close to an hour at Wall Drug, going into shops.  We even picked up some souvenirs while we were there.  We never found the free ice cold water or the cheap pop or coffee.  Shortly after we were back on the interstate we were driving by the Badlands in South Dakota.

One day we are going to go there and see the beauty close up and look for fossils.  We then found the Black Hill in South Dakota.  Miles and Mile of beautiful landscape we drove through.

It was around 1:45 pm when we arrived to Mt Rushmore.  I am so glad I was not driving this part of our journey.  I am terrified of heights.  I think I may have took a 20 minute nap since leaving Des Moines at 2:00 am.  Todd slept maybe one hour.  I have no idea how much sleep the kids had by this time.  Next stop was Mt Rushmore.


1 comment:

  1. Such beautiful scenery! I'm so glad you had fun!


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