Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 3, 2010

Day 4, Custer City, South Dakota

South Dakota is fantastic! On the way into Rapid City (it was 6 hour drive across the state), I happened to see a small highway (Hwy 240) from exit 131 to 110 and asked Tom if he felt up to a 40 minute detour to potentially see something more interesting than the grasslands along the I-90. It was into a National Park called the "Badlands". Well -- that was one of the best decisions we made. The park was so desolate and beautiful at the same time, a formerly vast inland sea millions of years ago that gave way to sub-tropical forests and then layered with volcanic ash from prehistoric explosions, and multiple river floodings which somehow left us with what looks like God's sandcastles and carvings. It was stunning. We rolled into Rapid City exhausted but rewarded with a great dinner (and wine) at the Olive Garden.

On this day (July 2nd) which was likely the longest driving day of our trip, not once did our kids ask when we'll get there or are we there yet. They are fantastic children. We made origami animals (a snake, seal, ladybug, Ninja star and fortune teller) and they did watch movies to their hearts' contents but they were excellent right through to dinner and bedtime which was around 11pm EST (we are now in Moutain time so 2 hours earlier).

Today (July 3) was amazing as well. It seems we never know what the day will unfold. We started with a tour of the Air and Space Museum in Ellsworth Airforce Base just east of Rapid City, SD. I knew about the Cold War and the missile launchers in the farmers field but never did I really give it a lot of thought. We went right into the ground (kids in tow) of a missile launcher which is now inactive. But just to think that squadron had 50, there are 4 squadrons in this area and each of these 200 missiles had120 times the desruction power of the A-Bomb droped on Hiroshima. It was a sobering and awesome moment to think the US had this much power at the touch of button for so many years -- -and thank goodness it never came to requiring the use of them.

The rest of the day was spent at the camp waterslide and pool where Sophia had no fear of going down the huge waterslide. It was so intimidating that Jessica didn't even want to go first but Sophia just jumped in and off she went (like 20 times). They will be sleeping well tonight and so will we! Tomorrow...Rushmore and Jewel Cave -- the 2nd largest Cave system in the World ...and it's just 10 miles down the road.

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful memories you are making for your children. We are taking notes of your travels as we will be passing that way in August, albeit in a car with a tent!! We have not booked any sites and will just take it in faith the we will find something.

    I had not heard of the missile launching site before and that is right up Michael's alley so that is a must.

    Getting to know the neighbours here. Bruce and family (don't see too much of his wife), Jim and Darlene who have gone off to the East for 2 weeks for a funeral and David and ? behind us with the lovely trailer with the outside kitchen. They also live in Pickering (Fox Hollow).