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South Dakota!

Us at Mt. Rushmore
Us at Mt. Rushmore

We have had a VERY busy July and it’s almost over! It’s been a while since we’ve blogged because we’ve been so busy traveling with work… but this past weekend we got a break from work and took a 4-day trip to South Dakota with Lori’s parents.

We drove up on Friday… stopping at Glendo Reservoir in Wyoming because Lori grew up going on youth group trips and camps to Glendo and wanted to show everyone else the lake… it was beautiful! We wanted to jump in the water – but we needed to get back on the road to head to South Dakota. The first sight we saw on Friday afternoon was the Crazy Horse Memorial. It was pretty cool looking from a mile or so away… we didn’t pay the fee to go to the Memorial because it’s no where near finished and we got a decent enough photo without getting too close! I think it may be another 100 years before that Memorial is finished! We made it to Keystone, SD and checked into our Jefferson Chalet at the White House Resort. We lucked out! This Chalet is a fairly new property that the White House Resorts own and we were able to get it for 3 nights! It had a perfect view of Mt. Rushmore (about 2 miles away) and was a great cabin for the four of us! HIGHLY recommended for anyone going to Mt. Rushmore – stay in the Jefferson Chalet!! Let us know if you want more details!!

Friday night we headed over to Mt. Rushmore after dinner to check it out and watch the “lighting ceremony”. It was cool to walk around trails and experience the visitors center. There were a couple of videos showing in the visitors center about how they carved the mountain, etc. It was pretty neat to see all the pictures of the “in process” Mt. Rushmore.

Saturday morning we got up and drove through Black Hills National Forest. It was a pretty drive and some neat lakes to stop at along the way. We had a yummy picnic along a lake, and then kept driving. We went through Lead, Deadwood, Sturgis and Rapid City before coming back to Keystone. Lead and Deadwood were mining towns and had some casinos. Sturgis was pretty crazy! The Sturgis rally starts next week, so all the bars and street vendors were getting set up for the rally. Apparently 100,000 bikers come to Sturgis every summer for the rally! I would not want to be there with all of the bikers, but it was pretty cool to see how it’s all set up!!

Keystone has an Alpine Slide and since Zach and I haven’t done an Alpine Slide in many, many years – we thought we should do it in South Dakota! After racing to the bottom we turned and looked at each other and asked “How did our families crash with us on here? That was easy!” When I was little, my dad took me for a ride on an Alpine Slide – we crashed and he did everything he could do to protect me – while scraping himself up really bad! The same event occurred with Zach and his uncle Rick, when Zach was really little – him and Rick crashed and Rick got all scraped up saving Zach from pain. Sadly those guys hurt themselves for us way back when…. but we just can’t figure out how they crashed! Needless to say, we’re totally riding another Alpine Slide soon – it was SO fun! We had dinner again in Keystone and then we walked around the town and looked at all the touristy stuff… it was fun.

Sunday morning we headed over to Mt. Rushmore again. They said that pictures are much better of Mt. Rushmore in the morning – so we took some great shots while we were there and even got to see the “sculptor’s studio”…. it was pretty cool. Zach was able to get a shot of the replica sculptures in the sculptor’s studio and then see Mt. Rusmore through one of the windows – it’s a pretty awesome shot! We also took a picture of the 4 of us standing in front of the guys… trying to look like Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt & Lincoln! hehe 🙂 Then we took the most spectacular drive through Custer State Park! It was a beautiful drive with some amazing bridges and tunnels. There were this “pigtail” bridges that basically did a 360 degree turn up or down the mountain! We got some great views of Mt. Rushmore from the park too! After watching some buffalo roam along the plains of the State Park and having another yummy picnic, we headed to Wind Cave National Park. We took a tour into the depths of the cave and just had a blast seeing all the amazing turns & holes in the cave, 250-some feet below the ground! We took a different route back to Keystone and got a great view of George Washington from the side as we drove around the mountains near Mt. Rushmore.

We enjoyed eating on our deck Sunday evening and then walked around down in Keystone a little more before turning in so that we could make the drive home on Monday. Other than a bit of rain and storms on the way home, it was a nice ride.

What a fun and relaxing weekend we had! We took some great pictures so check out our South Dakota Photo Album.

We’re still busy busy busy with traveling and crazy work schedules – so you may not hear from us for a little bit – but at least we got to have a fun family trip squeezed into the crazy work schedules we have! 🙂