Have We Lost Our Minds?
Pregnant with our fourth child, my husband has a moment of inspiration and suggests a cross-country family trip during maternity leave.
5:30 Brogden stirred from the rocker. Full five hours of sleep. I pull him to me and coax 2 more hours from him. Tiny alerted George she needed to potty. She has taken to going in her pants so he gets up quickly to escort her to an actual porcelain pot. The pair returns with coffee to take the group to the pancake tent. Tiny tells me they saw the horses and she got to pet one. She woke up on turbo when the elders are previewing their teenage years for us.
Pancakes are a hit. Showering and new clothes are taking place after syrup is consumed. I consume three plates of bacon as breakfast, dipped in the syrup.... of course.
George follows the ladies to see all we explored in the day time. They start asking to play golf and look around the Outpost Store. I take Tiny to the bathroom with me and baby. Leaving George with the elders. Elders are not with George when I return to the site. Found them on the bounce pillow. New plan. They play while George breaks camp and we shower heading out to Mt. Rushmore. Why do showers keep getting pushed off? They have been in the same dresses for three days now. Underwear get changed and dresses reversed but still. I guess it is sleep and shower when you are dead and play on. Now we golf!
Biscuit chose jumping next. Bubble and Tiny pick playground. Tiny charms a little boy to gently twirl her in the tire swing. With impending showers within reach, the girls had a little run about the splash pad. We had said no to swimming but playing in the water was just as fun this way.
Family shower in the handicapped room. Remembered a diaper this time. Much less eventful. Onto washing dishes and lunch. We took our time since the climbing wall opened at two and Biscuit was itching to climb more. The kitchen area at KOA had me from the moment I walked in. Surrounded by flowers and three sinks/ranges.
Climbing was fun for the girls. Biscuit got frustrated with the hand positioning. Bubble surprised us with how well she took to the wall.
Mt. Rushmore during the day is busy. I prefer at night. First Information Center for Junior Ranger books, I go in alone and left elders eating leftover pizza outside. I say three books and they are all under six. I get handed this one green sheet folded in half. Back to my ladies, pass out sheets, and Bubble looks put off. We exchange words about the level of work and exactly what I told the Ranger to receive this silly sheet. She marches herself in and Biscuit follows. I wait outside since Tiny and George are in the bathroom. Bubble returns with a more advanced Junior Ranger program. Biscuit has the same green paper. She is pleased and gets to work.
They saw the artwork last night so they had a list of things to accomplish: picture with NC Flag and exhibits that were locked at 10:30 pm the night before. Picture marked off they headed to the museum. Bubble wanted to watch the film twice and was in awe of each picture and artifact.
Tiny and Biscuit completed their four matching, identifying, and maze quickly. George took them to get sworn in while Bubble finished up her work. She was sworn in on her own. Selected postcards and back in the car. I wanted to hike the Presidential Trail but it was getting late in the day and 422 steps with four children was not in the cards for us.
George wanted to head out of town through the Badlands so he showed me the route. Before I had a chance to study it, he turned. I found a way to meet up with 44 to take us through the Badlands. It was an unpaved road. George was game and it was beautiful. Long and empty, we reshot the image of us.
Driving through the Buffalo Gap Grasslands made a turn for the worse with a hail storm. George was watching for tunnel clouds out his side and I was posted on my side. Prayers sent up with all the wind, hail, and rain. I held Bubble's hand and George laid on the gas. Made it to 44 and hail stopped. Just rain. Now to find gas. George was getting worried. Google search showed a station 2 mins ahead. George pumped in the rain.
Badlands, rain, and lightning follow us to Interstate 90.
In the Badlands, I got a chance to walk out alone to the 'wall'. Odd sensation to be with the wind and your thoughts. Seeing nothing for miles except nothingness. We have experienced many times of vast nothingness on this trip. People choose to be cramped in this country. We chose to be cramped in this suburban. And I wouldn't trade it.
Long straight drive to Sioux Falls. Find our hotel and all get in bed. Time change hit us so we lost an hour. And weekday breakfast ends at 9:00 am. Alarm set for this crowd.
Steps taken: 11,303
Miles driven: 432.4
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Mother of four children living up the maternity leave from the job of an agriculture teacher.