Devil’s Tower

We left Custer and headed for Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

The weather was against us again. We arrived in the rain. It was foggy and low cloud coverage. Chilly to boot! We headed up to the rocks. We scrambled on the ricks for a long time as Mom watched from below. We had a great time and were glad we got to do this today because the weather started getting icky.  By morning it was snowing. We played in the snow, did some laundry and packed up to leave a day early. The storms were going to get worse.

Rapid City

Our last day in the area we drove over to Rapid City to do to the Geology Museum. I loved exploring all the exhibits on minerals and paleontology. I think I took 500 photos of the rocks and gems. The fossils were really cool as most came from the White River Formation nearby.

They we went to Dinosaur Park, it was a waste of time as far as dinosaurs so. They had three periods of Dinos mixed together and all pained with the same two colors of paint. We didn’t stay long.  Went back and picked up Dad for pizza and one last loop of the roads at Custer State Park.We finally were able to get up to the highest point in the park on the mountain. The jeep started to get really warm so we need to have that checked out too! 

Sylvan Lake Hiking

Our plans didn’t work out as such but we had a fun time hiking around the lake. We were going to hike a different trail but it was closed and impassable due to snow and standing water. We did find lots of snow to play in. If you stepped really hard your feet and knees went under and you were standing in a wet puddle!  B made a little snowman. I scoped out some options for an alternate hike. No one wanted to climb under the rocks as the snow was melting. Probably a good idea! I got hot and had the idea of snow on my head! It helped a lot! Mom and B followed suit! It helped a lot! If you look carefully you can see B and I climbing up to the top of the rocks for our lunch spot. Mom got up ahead up us because we walked down to the water to skip rocks for a bit. On the final leg of the loop we ran into a guy we talked to earlier. He started a snowball fight with us! Totally random but we had fun! He showed us how to pack the snowballs really tight to get good distance!  Drying off and cooling off at the lake before heading back. We stopped and fed the burros on the way back to the campground to get Dad. For dinner we opted to do the chuckwagon cookout. We rode in the covered wagons in the pouring rain while listening to Keith tell stories and sing mountain songs. I always request Ghost Riders and B always requests Home on the Range.  Thankfully there was shelter for dinner and yummy food to stuff our faces with. Our photo with Mr. Keith. We fist did this when I was 5 or 6 so we have lots of photos with him now. 

Badlands Area Exploring

We had a great exhausting day of exploring in the Badlands. We have been before a few years ago but felt we needed to do it all again now that we are older. We started at the Minuteman Missile NHS for Delta 1 rockets. We learned about the history of the program and how it was on guard to help protect us. The missiles were positioned so they could get anywhere around the world in a very short amount of time. Thankfully they were never needed.
I think I would have gone mad if I had to work in this pod for 24 hours. It was very tight. So small that they only allow 6 people on the tour at a time. They only run 6-8 tours a day! So this is a very exclusive look at the Minuteman Missile program. After our tour we hike the Window and Door trails at Badlands NP. We learned a lot about the rock formations and how it all came to be in the late Cretaceous period. If was getting hot and we didn’t have water left so we stuck close to the main trails and didn’t go more than a mile out. You could easily get lost if you don’t follow the signposts. I climbed and jumped off every rock I could find! At least the ones that didn’t end is a rocky craggy death below! Some of the drop offs were very very deep. Mom braved the off trail for a while. The toe was bugging her but she kept up. We hiked the Cliff Shelf as well. It was a zillion stairs both up and down. The total elevation gain was around 200 feet but you had to go down and back up a lot! Buffaduck had a tour with us. We ended at Wall Drug. It is a strange place full of strange things and yummy food. We visited a lot of the shops and all of the photos opportunities.  We stopped off at the South Dakota Air and Space Museuma t Ellsworth AFB to see if we could get a Delta 9 tour, like we had a few years ago. Sadly, since it was off season, they only ran the tours on the weekends. We still had fun in the simulators and exploring before heading back exhausted to Custer.

Snowy Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls was just an overnight stop on our travels. We arrived as it began to snow. No major accumulation but still a novelty for Florida kids.  It is May. We went outside and tried to catch snowflakes but the icy rain and snow were piercing and we only have sweatshirts for our vacation. We lasted 20 minutes and called it quits for hot cocoa. Mom managed to find a pizza place that delivered so we didn’t have to unhitch the car. This was one of our longer drive days so we were all ready for food we didn’t have to make!