Billings, MT to Rapid City, SD
We started our day with a good breakfast at our Quality Inn hotel in Billings before heading out for the hour drive to Little Big Horn. Along the way, we had our Bible Hour of John 12-21. We got to the Monument at 8:30am and spent about90 minutes at the monument and a shop in the area. We saw the spot Custer fell as well as many other interesting sites.
Jariah even found his Indian namesake listed among the Native Americans who perished in the battle. Speaking of Jariah, the boys filled out a historical survey and then were each sworn in as Junior Rangers - complete with badges! It is a great program in the National Parks and each park is a little different in what is required and what badge they get.
From there, we traveled east and south back into Wyoming and to Devil's Tower. What an awesome site! We had gotten our lunch (Subway) right before getting to the park so when we got there we were ready for a walk. We took the 1.3 mile trail around the base of the mountain and got some wonderful pictures and a better understanding of what the mountain is really like.
Before coming on the trip, we had the kids watch "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" so they would have some idea of what the mountain was like. As good as the movie was, we were all still in awe when we were that close to it. We climbed up on some rocks near the base to get a good picture with the kids. From Devil's Tower we were going to go to Bell Fourche (the geographical center of the U.S.) but decided (on a whim) to go through Deadwood instead. What a mistake! If you are not really looking to gamble or drink or have more than a little time to spare (all parking is outside of town and you need to walk in or wait for and ride the trolley), it's not for you, and it wasn't for us.
We finally got to Rapid City, our destination for the evening and checked into our hotel. After some swimming, we got some dinner and headed to Mt. Rushmore for their evening program of lighting the memorial. It was very good and we can't wait to go back in the morning. Well, it's 11:29pm (our time) and I need to be up at 5:30am so I guess that's it for today. Thanks for reading and following our travels and for the many great comments and emails about the blog. Also, thank you all who sent birthday wishes to Jedi - I read them all to him and he really enjoyed them all!