I had the 2nd shift driving and came upon the Devils Tower as the sun was coming up. Bean could not sleep and was up too and was super excited about all the bison, deer and prarie dogs we saw on the way up.
We poked around and one by one the others got up and we started our loop hike around the base.
The deer where every ware
The tower and it’s histery were really cool and we liked looking for the rock climbers making their way up.
After our hike the visitor center was open and we worked hard on our badges.
Then checked out the prairie dogs the big kids missed on the drive in.
Obviously we were all pretty tired and very hungry so headed on to the city of Spearfish for breakfast and to find our cabin. We had a big hearty breakfast and then realized the brewery on the way to the cabin just opened so stopped in for some drinks and internet.
After 2 samplers we paid the tab and packed up to head to the cabin the plan was to get settled and all take a good nap then hop in the campground pool and bike our way around town. However, I got a phone call and discovered the person in our cabin the night before broke his arm and now could not leave the cabin and they had no availability for us beyond a tent site.
It was already about 90F and we could not nap a tent in that so we called all the other cabin places and looked on airbnb and found nothing. Eventually we found a hotel room but could not check in until 3 and it was noon. We tried another hotel and it had a 2 room suite but also were stuck sleepy until 3. So we took the suite and went for a hike in the Black Hills.
The hike was right along a creek with lots of crossings.
We wore our water shoes and were ready to get wet, this worked out good because at the end there was lots of cold pools to play in.
It was a beautiful area and lots of fun.
And we were able to kill the time we needed so we could get into the room and take naps. After naps we got some dinner at a place just down the street that had good local beers and giant pizza platters of nachos.
Then finally we got our pool and hot tub time in before bed.
Once again we tried to cram in as much sleep as we could while we had beds.
In the morning we checked out of the hotel after breakfast and a swim. Then we stopped by Sturgis to see the place and try the knuckle.
We drove on into Rapid City and it was hot but we parked a long way from our lunch spot and walked through a giant park to get there.
It was a rushed day and we worked our way east skipping lots of cool things but at least stopping at our priorities. We picked up one more ranger badge at the Minuteman Missile historic Site.
We got to look around the visitor center some but didn’t really have time before they closed to do all the activities so they had the kids help put the flag away for the night.
Just down the street from this park was the badlands.
We got to get out and climb around some.
but mostly we checked out a cool fossil lab in the visitor center.
When the lab closed we had to get going, not only because we had a long way to go but because the weather was not looking happy.
We drove a bit, tried to get some pizza but the service drove us away so we got some tacos, drove a bit more and got some icecream then drove a bunch more.
Heath and I both stayed up for this drive and listened to episodes of the My Favorite Murder podcast. We arrived in Omaha in the middle of the night and just moved the kids from the van to Septembra’s basement and put them to bed. We crashed shortly after.
We tried to sleep in then I went for a run and went to the store then we went to a 4th of July BBQ. We ate and played games all day.
Then lit off fireworks when it got dark.
We got to bed really late and in the morning just packed up for the last time and drove home. We had almost the whole day to unpack, clean and get ready to get back to regular life.