Monday, July 19, 2010

July 4th Vacation 2010-Keystone Area, South Dakota

After we visited the Badlands, we headed 1 hour west to a town called Keystone, South Dakota. South Dakota is a funny state, because all of driving to the Badlands, the scenery was just flat plains. Then we got to Badlands, and you know what they looked like..and then when we got to Keystone, we were in the mountains! Daddy loved this part of South Dakota, and he is already planning things to do when we go back! I would have to agree with him, this area is pretty cool! The first thing we did when we got to Keystone is eat! Ok-maybe one not so great thing about the Black Hills area is the food. Let's just say I've had better...but yes, I know, we probably just didn't eat at the right places! Anyway, after we had dinner we drove up to Mt. Rushmore. WOW!! Considering I am five, and I have no clue who the people on the mountain are, it was still really cool! We didn't stay very long, because it was dark and then we had to go to our hotel.
The next morning we went to a park called Bear Country USA. Mommy called it Jurassic Park. It was a park that you drove around in, and the animals weren't in cages. They just walked around where ever they wanted too. We saw elk..
mt. goats...(ok, I guess these guys couldn't roam wherever they wanted to; ramming hazards maybe?)...
...cougars...(and, they couldn't roam wherever either; being eaten alive hazards maybe?)... bears...
...bears fighting...
...bears being chill...
...buffalo.. wolves...
...grizzly bears...(again, she couldn't roam free, I'm sure because she would eat us!)... bears...awww....
and we got to ride a train! A tractor train!! Dallin was excited! He loves tractors, and he loves trains! The best of both!! Kaiden would be mortified that Mommy is posting this picture, because he thought he was way too cool for this!
Mommy and Grandma watched while we rode.
After Bear Country, we went to Big Rush Goldmine. It was fun! We toured an old mine, that people used to get gold from!
Then we panned for gold ourselves! It was kinda hard...
but then we figured it out, and the best part is that now....
we are rich!!! That's right? See those little tiny specks? Yeah, that's gold--that I panned!! I'm rich now! Hmm...what should I spend my earnings on??? Oh yeah, notice the one on the left, and how there is nothing in it? Well, apparently Kaid didn't figure out the panning technique and he dumped all his soil into the water. Bummer! Stinks to be him!
See, we're so happy because we are now rich!

After becoming rich, we drove a little ways to a state park called Custer St. Park. It was a crazy drive to get there. We drove up and down mountains and I felt like I was on a roller coaster. Have I ever told you how Daddy drives cars for a living? Well, I think he thinks he is a race car driver, and was flying on these mountain roads. Again, Mommy was getting a little stressed out! Especially because the side of the mountain roads had views like the one above!
We stopped at a look out point. That is Mt. Rushmore behind us!
These bridges were Daddy's favorite part of the drive. He loved them so much he made Mommy take a picture. They were called pig tail bridges.
See, they really do look like pig tails! By the way, I'm glad none of us get carsick, because this is how the drive was the whole way up and down the mountain, to get to the state park!
After we left the Black Hills National Forest, and Custer State Park, we went back to Keystone and did the most fun part of the trip for all of us kids! We rode the Alpine slides, and we loved it!

In fact, we loved it so much, we decided to go again the next morning, and we even talked Pa into coming down with us this time!
After the Alpine slides, we went back to Rushmore to see it during the day, and hike some trails around it.
Oh, and yes, junior ranger here also! Man, I'm gonna have to remember to put these on my resume!
After Rushmore, it was time to leave Keystone, and head toward Wyoming.
On our way out of the Black Hills, we stopped at Crazy Horse. Coming from a Native American background, we were a little excited to see this place. It was pretty cool. And they are still working on it!
When it gets finished, it will be Crazy Horse pointing to the mountains, sitting on a horse.
We loved South Dakota, and can't wait to go back! But it was time to move on. Next stop...Independence Rock and Martin's Cove in Wyoming.


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