We woke up bright and early today and were greeted by a lovely South Dakota sunrise at Big Pine Campground in the heart of the Black Hills. After some pancakes and coffee, we were ready for our two disparate adventures of the day, a visit to an iconic American site, and a real Wyoming rodeo!
Early in the morning we were on the road to Mount Rushmore, just a short drive away. First, we stopped on the side of the road to see the Crazy Horse Memorial, which could be seen from the highway. We opted not to drive up close, since we wanted to spend lots of time with the dead presidents instead.
Hurley was so excited to be able to see Mount Rushmore, finally.
Our first stop was the visitor’s center, to get our Junior Ranger booklets. The kids dove right in, filling out the pages so they could earn their badges.
One part of Phoebe’s Junior Ranger mission was to hug a tree.
They did it! Badges in hand, we headed back out on the road, across South Dakota.
Incredible scenery greeted us at every turn in the road.
We had to stop several times, just to take it all in. Soon, we had made it to Cody, Wyoming, unpacked our tent, and drove off to the Cody Nite Rodeo.
Lots of patriotic tributes started the night.
And the cowboys were getting restless…
Finally, it was time for bareback bucking broncos. 8 seconds to glory!
When it was time for kid volunteers, Jackson jumped out of his seat and ran down onto the track. (Check him out in the orange sweatshirt.) He raced with the other kids to try to get a ribbon from a calf’s tail. He wasn’t a winner, but he did manage to scoop a bunch of dirt into his pockets as a souvenir!
We stayed so late that we missed our dinner! We made an unsuccessful attempt for late-night grub at the famous Irma Hotel, then ultimately decided to just turn in for the night. What a fun day!