Day Twenty-Eight: Enjoying the Black Hills and a Visit to Mount Rushmore

It’s hard to believe today is day twenty-eight! There are so many aspects of this trip we have loved, but I will save those all for the end.

However, one is how we have been able to do so much as a family. Today was one of those days!
We let the kids sleep in a little, but we needed to be up and moving earlier than normal. At 8:30 am Will and I were being picked up (masked up for sure) to drive 2 miles down the road to pick up our fun surprise for the kids. We rented two UTV’s to drive the trails of the Black Hills. Ever since Moab, we have seen people drive these and knew it would be fun! We had reserved a two seater and a four seater; however, when we checked in the two seater had an issue with a tire. Unfortunately, we only were able to rent one, but thankfully it was the four seater. Before we left I asked if it would be against the law to make it a five seater and he said South Dakota is rather relax.

Wondering what a UTV is: UTV stands for Utility Terrain Vehicle. They are similar to ATV’s but usually larger, use a steering wheel instead of handlebars and has pedals for brake and gas. They have seat belts, comfortable seats (most with high backs like ours did), roll over protection and can carry up to six people. UTV’s are both off road and highway approved.

Will and I drove it back to the RV Resort to pick up the kids for a half day of fun! And did we have fun! Eli sat upfront with Will to be the navigator as we were using an app to know not only where the trails were, but also could see our own progress on them and where to turn. Anna Cate had a whole seat to herself and was comfortably buckled in; while Betsie and I shared a seatbelt, but she had the majority of the seat. I wrapped a pillow in a beach towel and stuffed it in between the seats to make ‘my seat’. Surprisingly it was super comfortable, especially for four hours!

All buckled in! Only 18 and younger need helmets. They were sanitized thoroughly by mom inside and out, as well as, the inside of the UTV!
Eli our navigator

I loved how none of us had been off road on a UTV before and we were experiencing this together. We started out with some easy trails and then it became rather rocky! I love how we could drive to the top of a mountain for Anna Cate to see amazing view, as hiking is not really an option. We would stop for a few mini breaks to shed layers of clothes and for water. Before we knew it, it was time for us to head back. Will dropped the kids and I off at the RV so we could start showering to remove the mud of the Black Hills off us. We literally had mud from our head to our toes!

Off we go to the trails
Here we go!
The view on the trails was beautiful. We saw two deer and some chipmunks!
A trail in the beginning
The girls
The boys
Getting rocky!
Look at this hill we went up! This picture doesn’t really do it justice. Not posting the video as it has some ‘language’!
Stopped to shed some layers and she is smiling for more!
The views continue
And continue
Everyone is having fun!
Going up to the top.
The view from the top was awesome!
AC holding on!
One muddy side
The other muddy side
What the trail markers look like to guide you
The fifth ‘seat’!
Our tracking on the trails

After we were all freshly showered, fed, did a load of muddy clothes in the laundry we were off to Mount Rushmore. It was only about a fifteen minute drive from our RV Resort. Personally, I will say seeing Mount Rushmore was ‘okay’ as after all the breathtaking and jaw dropping places we have been. What was fascinating to me was the fact of how intricate the carvings in the stone were, as well as, how their eyes looked like they moved. Will knew it was going to be what it was, yet he said it’s one of those things, if you are close it’s worth it to see. He also wanted us to see The Crazy Horse Memorial first as it’s going to be much bigger than Mount Rushmore when completed. Just for comparison, the head alone of Crazy Horse is 27 feet taller than the heads of Mount Rushmore!

Walking in
Loved all the flags to represent all the States and US Territories on the Avenue of the Presidents.
Good ole’ Virginia
Family selfie
Close up
Em and Will

When we left Mount Rushmore, it started to rain (first rain pretty much this whole trip!!!) so we made a quick stop at the RV for our raincoats before heading into the town of Hill City. We passed a sign for a place called Candyland, and thought it would be fun to check out. Who doesn’t like a little candy!?!? From here we drove down Main Street of Hill City and it was the cutest little town. We ask a local for a dinner suggestions and her recommendation was amazing! It was outstanding and our server, Evelyn was so bubbly she was perfect for us!

AC and Em representing Hill
City RVA (our church) in SODAK!
Every color of M&M’s you can imagine
Little splurge
Our restaurant
Write up on the building the restaurant was in
Cowboy Code
Loved this sign for one of my children.
Waiting for our table
Having fun sitting in these barstools are a store!
Adorable Main Street of Hill City

On the way back to the RV we went in to a local grocery store, Krull’s Market, that was the amazing! Will had found an IPA out of South Dakota he really liked and we wanted to see if we could find it, along with a few other odds and ends. Overall, today was probably one of the best days we have had our whole trip!

We are starting to get closer and closer to the end of our rving in the USA. One week to go and hopefully the cell coverage will only continue to improve, otherwise the blog will have many entries at once. It’s time to start rollin’ again!

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