south dakota, days 5&6

On our 5th morning we got up and on the road by 9am...a record for us!  We headed to Devil's Tower, just over an hour away in Wyoming.  It was amazing driving up to it...lots of beautiful views...I almost felt like we didn't need to see it any closer but I am so glad we did.

As you approach the 1 mile trail that goes around the Tower there is a huge boulder fall that you can climb up a long ways.  Near the base of the tower, at the top of the boulder fall, there are signs saying STOP! and you need to be a registered climber to go any higher.  If you have been to Devil's Lake, this boulder area is a lot like tumbled rocks trail only higher.

So, we climbed as high as we could (well, I was right below the sign with Nick) but it didn't feel that terrifying because if someone would have fallen, they only would have hit the rocks right below them...we weren't on "the edge" of anything.

The kids LOVED this.  We did, too.
We were super high up here.  Nick was just chilling.
James, near the top.
Patrick and Ruby, right at the stopping point:

I have to add that it is amazing that the kids are old enough to carry their own packs with water and snacks.  (we helped Nick on one longer hike) Also, their own luggage!!  Love that!

After hiking the boulders we did the one mile hike around the base. We were lucky enough to see climbers reaching the top of the Tower and sat for a while and watched them.  The surrounding forest was cool and pretty and it was a really nice walk.  We were all starving after all of that!
We left Devil's Tower and had a late lunch/early dinner at Culver's, I think.  Culvers around here are always busy and this one was dead...it was funny.  Looked brand new, too.  That burger hit the spot.  

On the way back to the hotel we stopped at Mt. Roosevelt that I had read was an old castle??  Well, it was just like Enger Tower for my Duluth peeps.  :)  The name MOUNT should have tipped me off but Nick was not thrilled to see another uphill hike.  It wasn't bad, though, and was beautiful at the top.  The woods here were more like MN woods, a mix of pine and leafy trees, instead of the mainly pine forests near Devil's Tower.  The lookout point was, have I already said this?, beautiful.
Seth Bullock, mayor of Deadwood, built this in honor of his BFF Teddy Roosevelt:
(seth bullock had a thing for high spots!)
Everyone resting on the lookout:
Look!  A family photo!!  thanks a lot, NICK.
This was beyond the lookout deck and I could not watch.  I walked away and they followed pretty quickly.  Thank God.
James loves Nick so much but also torments him.  He then turns around and wants to be affectionate, etc. and Nick is like WHAT??  It took a lot of cajoling to get Nick on his back.  :)
The next morning (our last in Deadwood...sniff) we found an empty pool again!  I loved how well the kids played together this trip.  They thought up games in the pool and we had dive rings along, which they had a lot of fun with.  They fought some, sure, but really got along well.  They would talk all day about Minecraft contest they were going to have that night and it was just cute.  <3 br="">


It was so pretty.  You can see the hills surrounding Deadwood out the windows...it was like that all around the whole town.
After breakfast and swimming, Ruby and I left to do a little shopping.  We walked down Main Street and stopped in Saloon No. 10 and lots of other stores.  The Saloon was so cool that we went back with the boys for lunch after we checked out.  They had tons of historical Deadwood photos on the walls and the chair that Wild Bill was shot in.  (creepy.)  We ate popcorn and the kids had their first Shirley Temples.  (Not so impressed...it was sad.  I LOVED Shirley Temples as a kid.)

After lunch we went to Mt. Rushmore!  Okay, I love our country but this did not thrill me.  I didn't have time to read much of the history, which would have interested me the most.  We sat and took it in, walked the Presidential Trail (250 steps going UP of course),  had giant ice cream cones and called it a day.


After this we were back on the road, headed to Rapid City, our home for the next 3 nights.

xoxo

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