Home of the Free, Land of the Bad

We’re almost home from our giant road trip! Instead of taking a more direct route home, I insisted that we stop to see Mt. Rushmore. Everyone has to see it once, right? My kids weren’t too happy about it and I think my husband was only humoring me, but going to Mt. Rushmore on the 4th of July would pretty much make us the best Americans in all of America so we couldn’t pass up that chance.

The drive across South Dakota on I-90 is pretty miserable and I was secretly regretting my decision as I drove and drove and drove but we pressed on, past the hundreds Wall Drug billboards (and pretty much nothing else). I started to suspect that the whole day would be a disappointment and everyone would blame me so I didn’t want to push my luck by suggesting we take a slight detour to see the Badlands, but I knew it might be my only chance. Just before we neared the turnoff, my husband looked up directions and we pulled off the freeway to see this.

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Not bad for an afterthought, huh?

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I couldn’t stop taking pictures. I can’t stop posting pictures.

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When does it end?

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We would drive along, seeing only grass, then turn a corner and look down to see this:

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Fritz saw the rattlesnake warning and assured me he could protect me because he speaks snake. “Ssssssss” translates to “Sss, go away, snake. I am your predator!” And it must’ve worked. We saw plenty of prairie dogs but no rattle snakes.

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We did eventually make it to our destination and we celebrated our independence with some Trader Joe’s Fireworks Chocolate. It was an amazing Independence Day.

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By the way, this is the first post I’ve ever written on my phone. I wrote it sitting in the back seat as my husband drove switchbacks down the mountain and as a result, I was the one who broke our perfect record of no car sickness. If you think the title of this post is just awful, blame it on my post-sickness delirium.

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