Tag Archives: National Monuments

Not National Parks

Who knew? Mount Rushmore is actually Mount Rushmore National Memorial. And we arrived in the late afternoon, just when the sun was in the wrong spot.

Mount Rushmore

There is a really neat hiking trail that goes down and around in front of Mount Rushmore, and it’s neat to see the different perspectives of these four huge presidents. Do you remember who they are?

Mount Rushmore 2


We walked the trail after we had dinner at the cafeteria, with a view of the Presidents. So far, finding places to eat had been a little tricky, but we were expecting that. We weren’t counting on our hotels providing breakfast, so we had cereal, milk, and Pop Tarts. We also had lunch staples of sliced turkey, cheese, bread and apples. But it was nice to have someone else serve us dinner!

The day had been a long one; we had been hiking and exploring the Badlands just that morning, toured Wind Cave in the afternoon, and walked by Mount Rushmore that evening. We skipped the evening festivities at Mount Rushmore and headed into Keystone to find our hotel for the night.

The next morning, we left South Dakota and drove into Wyoming. Our plan was to swing by Devil’s Tower National Monument (also not a park!) before we continued on our way to Yellowstone.

Devil's Tower 1

Ed and I drove to Yellowstone before we had kids, and Ed fell in love with Devil’s Tower the first time we stopped there. Now that he was able to climb around the rocks with Lily and Emmy, he loved it even more! And there is a bonus at Devil’s Tower: another prairie dog town!

Devil's Tower 2
Climbing around with Lily and Emmy
Devil's Tower selfie
Selfie time!
prairie dog
Little prairie dogs

We decided to eat lunch at a little cafe at the base of the tower, and then we had a long drive across Wyoming to Cody, which is a town just outside of the west entrance to Yellowstone. We were getting closer to our final destination!

signature P.S. The four presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

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