After getting in bed a little earlier Wednesday night, my friends and I woke up Thursday morning feeling much more rested, and headed to breakfast. Needing a little pick-me-up that the hotel couldn’t provide, we drove over to a nearby Starbucks for some much appreciated caffeine. My peppermint latte certainly hit the spot.
Once again, we had a long drive to our destinations for the day, the first being Mount Rushmore. However, my group and I quickly made the best use of our time by talking, laughing, playing eye-spy, and the occasional nap, making the drive down very enjoyable and fun. Four hours later, we made it to South Dakota and the great monument, Mount Rushmore.
The carvings were truly immaculate. The detail put into the four presidents was very impressive and awe-worthy. Although slightly smaller than I had imagined, the mountains were beautiful just the same. After walking the President’s Trail to get a close up view, we went into the monument’s theater to watch a short film about how it was sculpted and why Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln were chosen. It was really interesting to understand the history of how Mount Rushmore went from a dream to a reality.
Many of us soon realized after Rushmore that we had grown pretty hungry, so a short drive away was a small coffee shop and cafe that not only filled our bellies, but was truly delicious. The atmosphere was my favorite kind of place with eclectic design and architecture. My sandwich and London fog was one of the best meals I’ve had in a while.
Two hours later we reached our next destination- Devils Tower. Dedicated as the first national monument by President Roosevelt, it was an amazing sight to see. Towering roughly four football fields high, the immaculate tower was truly spectacular. The prairie dogs surrounding the forested area were the absolute cutest thing; several of them were scurrying throughout the ground and playing with each other which certainly brought smiles to our faces. We decided to take an easy 1.6 mile hike around the base of the tower that was a great break on my muscles from yesterday’s harder hike. Easily, the favorite part of the day was when we all went out on the large boulders below the tower and climbed, jumped around, took some pictures, and simply enjoyed God’s creation. It was incredibly beautiful.
After the hike, we drove about an hour to have dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s before settling in our very nice updated suites at La Quinta. Such a great day.