...with a husband and 5 sons, I am truly outnumbered....stories and thoughts on life from a mom in a houseful of little men!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Through the Land of Sitting Bull, Custer, and Little Bighorn, and a Little Rushmore to Top it Off

We woke up outside Sheridan, Wyoming on July 10, and headed out into legendary country.  History was brought to life as we drove through this country and read about Fort Phil Kearny, Red Cloud's War, Massacre Hill, the Wagon Box Fight, and of course, Custer's Last Stand.  It brought new meaning to read about these things while we could look out our windows to the terrain where all these things took place.

On this day, we completed our journey across Wyoming and entered into South Dakota.  We listened to the remainder of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie before heading into the Badlands.  We encountered the worst construction of our entire trip through the Badlands, and that includes traveling on the Alcan!  In fact, the construction reminded us of our trip north on the Alcan in 1998, with the huge rigs and completely torn up "roadway."

Thankfully, we reached the construction and pilot car *just* as the pilot car was taking our side of traffic through the whole mess.  From the look of it, the folks ahead of us had been waiting a long, long time.  Just past the construction, which was several miles long, we saw a little herd of bison grazing.  We did not stop, but continued on climbing.  We had a Wonder of the World to see.
We loved seeing this national treasure, and learning about the planning and preparation and process of its completion.  We all learned so much.  I never knew that Gutzon Borglum chose the presidents he chose in order to represent the first 130 years of American history--the founding, growth, preservation, and development.  We also loved seeing the old photos and hearing and reading accounts of the workers contracted for the project.
 What a great break in a long travel day.

 South Dakota was also hot and very, very humid.  We were so thankful, after 489 miles, to pull into a welcoming campground for some grub and an evening swim! 

We had camped outside Chamberlain, SD on this evening.  The boys chased around their first-ever-seen, LARGE toad, while I tried not to throw up.  Although that was impressive, the real star of this campground was a wonderful pool which we had all to ourselves under the stars until about 10:30.

By the time we showered and headed back to the Little House, we could see very clearly that we were to have a significant thunderstorm.  Sure enough, just as the last one was tucked into bed, the skies let loose, and the downpour began.  The winds blew, and our Little House rocked and swayed as we all looked out into the cascades of water.  The sky lit up all around us as the heavens boomed.  It was the first real, rip-roaring storm the boys had ever experienced.

Lots of "firsts" on this trip, and we'd all be in for one on the following day...

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