My sister and I decided kind of on a whim, during the week of the 4th, that we should take her oldest and my two on a road trip to Mount Rushmore. After over a week of trying to get a place to stay in Custer State Park (it was solidly booked), I gave up hope. A few days later, my sister, who is more determined than me, called and found that they just had a two bedroom, two bathroom cabin with a kitchenette open up. We were going to South Dakota. Basically, July has been a whirlwind.
Lest the beautiful pictures fool you (and it was beautiful country), my sister was probably ready to hit me over the head with a frying pan our first full day in South Dakota. I broke out in hives the week before we left and they would NOT go away so I was on prednisone for a portion of the trip; I wasn’t that fond of myself to be honest. Thankfully, the remainder of the trip was much better despite still having some weird allergy stuff. We hiked, paddle boarded, canoed, swam. The wildlife was amazing. We saw buffalo, elk, burros, pronghorns, and so many deer. We heard at least one rattlesnake but thankfully never spotted one. Our last night in the park, we went on a chuck wagon dinner that I cannot recommend enough if you ever get the chance to go. We drove Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road (actually, my sister drove those and I can’t tell you how grateful I was for that). We tried the Jefferson vanilla ice cream at Mount Rushmore which was pretty delicious. And then, despite having plans to stay overnight in Sioux Falls, we power drove home. Our children were the world’s best road trippers.
P.S. Buffalo sound like they are growling and elk have high-pitched almost bird call like vocalizations. I found that kind of surprising.
P.P.S. My sister and I had a half-joking conversation on the ridiculously flat first 3/4 of South Dakota regarding the sheer amount of content in the world and how every day more and more and more is being pumped out. The sheer quantity of instagrams, Facebooks, twitters, news articles, youTubes, blogs, etc., etc. is overwhelming. And everyday we make choices about whether we add to the noise, ignore the noise, consume the noise. Basically, tech is really great, but it’s also creating content at a rate that is overwhelming and every day it grows exponentially. We didn’t come to any solutions, but it has had me thinking lately about our need to CREATE and our need to CONSUME and how creation can lead to consumerism and how I think taking breaks from consuming – whether that’s a NoSpend November or logging of social media for a couple months – is something we should probably be incorporating more of in our life. (Speaking of no spending: this not buying sock yarn thing is KILLING me.)
P.P.P.S. We did decide that we need to walk outdoors more often – like the real outdoors not the sidewalked outdoors – though that works fine in a pinch – because it makes you feel good.