The drive from Livingston to Rapid City was quick and uneventful. Our new campsite is on a little hill, so we have a nice view, and a fantastic sunset (pictured above).
Campfires are fun, so we do one every night. We didn’t actually roast marshmallows tonight, just enjoyed the view, and the weather. The South Dakota weather changes fast, and we had heat, rain, and cool breezes in our first evening. We were grateful for enough dry time to get our tent up.
The next morning we woke early to visit Mt. Rushmore, where we sort of “rushed” through since Regina had to stay in the hot car. I may be able to update with those pictures soon, they’re on Alleson’s phone. We spent the rest of our day in and out of the car, taking shelter from the heat one moment and the rain the next. We nearly had to sleep through a thunderstorm, but it passed by to the East before bedtime.
This morning we overslept because I set my alarm wrong, and we scrambled to pack up for our longest drive of the whole trip: Rapid City SD to Rochester MN. South Dakota is nice, but it’s marred by a million billboards. Near Rushmore is completely nuts with tourist attractions, of course (Reptile World, Bear Country USA, Old Macdonald’s Farm, and stranger things that remind me of A Goofy Movie) but we were even seeing billboards for these attractions three hundred miles away as we approached the border of Minnesota.
By comparison, Minnesota felt pristine, clean and unblemished. The landscape isn’t that different, but instead of trashy billboards we drove by miles of wind farms and the nicest power lines I’ve ever seen (no kidding).
We did stop to see the “World’s only” Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. Every year they decorate this combination basketball stadium/community theater/souvenir mall with corn murals, and it was actually pretty cool.
The weather is better here, but the bugs seem to be more aggressive. We’ve got a couple of nights here, and then we go to Chicago! Yay!