Yesterday we saw the Badlands of South Dakota. I read Mornings on Horseback this past year, which is a David McCullough biography about the young life of Theodore Roosevelt. I wish that my book wasn’t in a storage unit in Dothan, and I could give you some of his quotes about this mesmerizing land. From the cliffs that seem fragile enough to be made of sand, yet strong enough to stand firm through the harsh winds that rip through the prairies…
To the herds of buffalo,
that sauntered right by our car.
To the prairies dancing with wheat, and sage and even a few baby cacti:
And so, Jeremiah helped/took them to the top–
Can you see the confidence?
We continued on through more wonders of the Badlands, until our stomachs (and more loudly our children) reminded us that it was lunchtime.
And the fearless adventurer parents had not thought to pack a lunch! Shouldn’t there be a snack bar somewhere in a National Park? We did eventually find a picnic area with some drink machines, and we broke out the sandwich toppings and other odds and ends Jeremiah’s mom had packed for us for a picnic our first day. The girls had a lot of Peanut butter with Ritz crackers and Jeremiah came up with these little concoctions for us:
That would be two saltine crackers with a slice of tomato, a couple of banana peppers, and a smattering of tostito cheese dip. Lunch of champions.
I thought of Roosevelt and his lonely winters alone, trying to keep a herd of cattle alive in this strange wilderness. I thought of how creative God is, to weave lines of color through rock that ripples on and on. And I thought about all the flips my insides were turning at having myself and two little babies so close to that drop off with the wind whipping our hair.
And drove the 75 miles to Mount Rushmore:
It was an iconic moment. To smile with my very own family in front of the statues I remember staring at in my History book as a little girl. When did I get children of my own? And when did it become Ok for me to drive around wherever I want to and stay in hotels with the man I’m crazy about?
Am I really aloud to have this much fun?
We hiked the half mile trail around the monument. And went to the artists’ studio, where I learned that 90% of these beautiful carvings were made by dynamite, AND Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln were meant to be pictured to the waist like this:
but the base of the mountain became too variable.
So we headed off across the Black Hills and then the Rockies.
Today we’ve driven to Cody, Wyoming. We’ll stay here tonight and head into Yellowstone tomorrow. Whew, and today is our seven year wedding anniversary on top of all that!