While traveling for over a year now, we have been able to stop and visit friends and family along the way but we had our 1st visit from family that came to see us!
In the years before we started traveling Korey and I had moved more times than we can count. My sister has come to visit in every single town we’ve lived in. We both love that she has always done this, and this latest trip was their most eventful road trip. They traveled from Washington State to see us in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Once they crossed over into Montana it was pretty much storm central the whole way here and the whole way home. Thunder, lightning, rain so bad that they couldn’t see a few feet in front of them, witnessing an accident where the driver abandoned his vehicle in the street so they called the cops and helped catch him, and all while driving straight here and back without stopping.
We are so thankful that they came to visit and enjoyed every day we had with them!
There is so much to see and do in the Black Hills. With only four full days together we had to cram in all that we could. The boys wanted to go fishing and golfing, so that was planned and they actually ended up having time to go fishing twice. Korey LOVES fishing so he was grateful that the boys also wanted to drop those lines in the water.
We walked around downtown Rapid City, checking out the shops, grabbing some coffee and walking down Art Alley. Have you been? It’s pretty fun to check out all of the graffiti, and not the not so graffiti-looking artwork.
After going to Art Alley we shot up to the Cosmo’s Mystery Area. What a trip that was! We took the tour into the smaller house (replica of the large house) with a group of other tourists. Our nephew Quinton was called upon to demonstrate multiple times like our tour guide had him poor water onto this board where the water appears to form a stream uphill or sitting in a chair that looked like it was about to fall off of the rail but he sat there comfortably. This place has this pull where if you stand in certain areas you feel as though you are standing up straight but you look as though you are about to topple over. It was almost a sea sick feeling at first, so odd, but so much fun!
We hit up the Badlands National Park and that was AMAZING! The lush prairies and rock formations with the bright greens, reds, oranges and yellow wild flowers made all of us stare off in awe with each of our stops along the loop. We only had a couple hours here due to the fast changing weather. This cloud never turned into a tornado but the weather warnings blaring on the radio with local weather events made us decide that it was time to get the heck outta dodge. But before leaving we saw Bighorn Sheep, this was a bonus and Korey and I loved it, we have been on the lookout for Bighorn since hitting the road. This is probably because our fifth wheel is a Bighorn and our truck is as well 😉
This is the reason we only spent 2 hours in the Badlands…..eek, we did not want to wait around and see what this would turn into.
On the way to the Badlands we HAD to make a stop in Wall to visit Wall Drug. This place is a must stop just because it is in the middle of nowhere and with all the advertising across the state, how could you not stop?! We had lunch in the Wall Drug restaurant, checked out all the shops, and bought some souvenirs. It was our 2nd stop and when Korey’s parents arrive in Sept, we will probably take them there as well.
Of course we had to go to Deadwood too. We checked out the Adam’s Museum and learned all about the days of the wild west in Deadwood. We love this little town, so much history and fun to visit the street shoot outs, little tourist trap shops, yummy restaurants and museums. We still have to visit the Days of ’76 Museum, maybe we will do this next time we head that way.
One of the coolest things that we got to do together was to tour the Rushmore Cave at Rush Mountain Adventure Park. This was a 1st for my sister, brother in law and 2 nephews. It was the 1st time for Korey and I to tour this particular cave and our 3rd cave tour since we started traveling. The cave itself was pretty cool, the tour was only about 90 min long, and our tour guide was a high school student who knew so much about caves, especially the Rushmore Cave. We all road the mountain coaster, and a few other rides, it was a fun afternoon!
After the Rushmore Cave tour, we had dinner in Keystone and then shot up to Mount Rushmore, they couldn’t come all this way and not get to see Mount Rushmore! The weather turned very quickly (as it did nearly every day of their visit) and when we 1st arrives, the mountain was hiding in a dense fog with a downpour. That was a bummer, so since we couldn’t even see an outline of the mountain we went into the gift shop and looked around. When we all made our purchases and walked outside, the fog was clearing…we ran up there and had close to 2 min to see it before the fog cover made it’s return. But hey, they got to see it! and it made for a pretty cool pic 🙂
If we had more time together we would have taken them to Custer State Park to drive the Wildlife Loop and the Needles Highway, but other than missing that, I think we did a pretty good job squeezing in multiple stops in 4 days!
Our time together went by way too fast and it was hard to say goodbye but knowing that we get to see them all in November helped. Thank you Erin, Tyson, Caleb and Quinton for spending your vacation with us and coming all this way! You have no idea how much this meant to us! XOXO