Mt Rushmore *Img Heavy*

I've lived in the Rapid City area since early summer 2009. Two years.

Guess how many times I had been to Mt Rushmore which is located about 20 minutes away.



Now, it hasn't necessarily been because I didn't want to. Because I have, it was even on my "Bucket List" Seriously, my luck is absolutely horrid.

The first time we tried to go, we got hit by a freak storm (Pouring rain, thunder, lighting and....sunshine. WTF SD?) and turned around when it was next to impossible to drive further.

We scheduled a time to go again and Nate had emergency 12 hour shifts so that's a no go.

Then winter hit. It was after all September. And here, September means snow. Evil Snow.

After that we got busy with the deployment and wedding. And lets toss in a move.

While Nate was overseas, I tried to go a few times. Getting all the way to the entrance...when Sami vomited. All over the car, herself and her seat. Sooo we went home took hot baths and slept.

My friend Jamie and I drove past it once....

I tried to go again before he got home but by the time I got into Keystone, I realized it was getting really dark and while it is lit at night, It's not necessarily "child fun" at night in the early South Dakota spring (read: Winter's bitch slap) that and Sami was passed out anyway.

When Nate returned from deployment last year, we totally meant to go during his block leave.

buuut we were rather occupied with other...entertainment venues.

We've tried to go a few times since. But things have always come up. Rain, snow, holidays, work, snow, illness, snow, bombing Libya, snow. You get the picture.

So since Nate is leaving soon on deployment, it has become his life's goal to get me out to Mt Rushmore before he leaves.

Our schedules tend to conflict pretty much often. I usually work evenings from 15:00-23:00 and every weekend. He works during the week on mids, so he's getting off and going to bed around the time I get up and he wakes up when I'm clocking into work. Oh the joys of a dual income family!

Last weekend, we were going to go....but then we remembered the Air Show.

So Saturday, I got off early in the afternoon and we decided. This is the day! Today we will go to Mt Rushmore!

Then I read the forecast. Storms. Lots of Storms.

We went and played mini-golf instead because that is totally the better alternative. Metal sticks on a hill in a lightning storm! (It didn't rain until we finished our round)

 Sunday, I realize I had double booked. I had promised Nate we would go to Rushmore rain or shine. And I had also said I would go to wine and tapas with some friends.

I canceled the wine and tapas meet up. We loaded up the car with spare clothes in case Sami became ill again, sunscreen, water and bug repellent.

And started off!

Why is it so dark at 16:00?!?

Hmmm those aren't promising

Well hello there, rain.

She is so adorable when she's comatose

Ohhhh tunnel-thingy!

Welcome to Keystone, South Dakota

Goodbye Keystone, South Dakota
(Pretty small town. It reminded me of Eureka Springs actually)

This was our first glimpse at Mt Rushmore!
Driving up to the park entrance

Sitting in the car. 
We had paid and parked, and just gotten out of the car when the rain picked up big time.
I grabbed Sami and ducked into the front seat.

Ahhh dryness!

Hey look! 

Ohhhhhh Presidential Pet Rocks!

Evil Chipmunks are Evil


About this time, I started to get cold. As I'm want to do in South Dakota.

So we ducked into the Gift Shop and I bought a windbreaker and Sami got a t-shirt.


Close Up of Sami's non too happy face.
I had refused to let her have her lollipop.



Hey look where we are! Mt Rushmore.

Get used to it. I took a lot of them

This was one of my favorites

Inside the museum!

I have nooo idea what is wrong with this child

But she has awesome legs!

Warmth is goodness!

Hey Look! I have a husband!

He's pretty awesome
I love him. Even if he's a dork.

Down at the base of the amphitheater 

My Child running away.....(With her lollipop in that bag)

Up the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs, down.

Abraham Lincoln!

Such gorgeous views!

Is that MY child sitting quietly?!?

It looks so far away! But it really isn't!

Time for a walk!
Please don't strangle my husband, Sami.

This reminds me of Arkansas
I miss Arkansas

So cute!

George Washington!

She has such loooong legs

Hey Mom! Can we go down the creepy dark cave?
Of COURSE we can, Sami!

Say Hi first Sami!

Ohhh pretty!

This cave had an awesome view!

Learning time!

(Just in case you forgot where we were)

I always thought it would be much higher up.

This is at the base of the mountain.

It was really awesome to be this close to it


I really wanted to get better photos of this one. But between the foliage, distance and positioning it was rather difficult

Why hello there handsome!

You should all be jealous.

Soo many steps! It was a great walk. We couldn't have chosen a better day to go.
It was overcast, warmish, and beautiful. And not crowded at all

Oh, speaking of steps. This was about where Nate took a step wrong, slipped and fell on his ass.

The guy passing by who obviously has loads more compassion than I, stopped and asked if he was all right.

I laughed.


Such a cool trunk!

Sami had no problems navigating all the steps. She loved it. 
Since I am old and decrepit, I had to have her stop several times so I could catch up.

For I am old.

Roosevelt is shy

Time to stop and take a photo!
Because we sooo don't have enough..

This was what they would have all looked like if it had been completed.

In the window at the top, which didn't photograph well at all, the actual monument is perfectly framed.
I'll have to try to get better photos next time we go. Hopefully at night.

Gah...legs. ew.
Sami is adorable though!

I still don't see the resemblance as much as others do

These were really bold chipmunks. This one was sitting on the pathway for a good 3-4 minutes not even 10 feet away from us until some bratty kid ran up and kicked it.

Damn kids.

So gorgeous

One of my favorites. He's so great with her.

another favorite. Aside from my shirt being weird

Such a beautiful child

Time to go!
Hall of Flags or something. A flag for each state. On the pillars directly below the flag, is the state's name as well as the year it was admitted to the union.

So after we left, we drove into Keystone for dinner.

We parked and walked around the boardwalk. Which was  bit more crowded. They had all the regular little touristy type stores. Leather stores, Black Hills gold stores, t-shirts etc.

We saw a really cool little saloon type restaurant. But since we had Sami, we settled on a little pizza place overlooking downtown Keystone.

Our dinner guests!

Really cool table

Keystone from our table

We were right across the street from the train station as the sun was setting

Time to go home! warm, dry and comfy for the 30 minute drive.

Pretty cool building in Keystone

On the road again...

We had such a great time. It was definitely worth it to go!

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