From the start of the trip, our whole family was excited to see the famous Mt. Rushmore and its surrounding attractions during the three days we had booked there. For me, this stop was one I had been looking forward to since the moment we had the road trip planned. Ever since I started learning about Mt. Rushmore in elementary school, I knew that it was a place I wanted to visit when I got older. Not only was the carved mountain a highlight of the stop, but the campground and surrounding areas were like nothing I’d ever seen before.
When we arrived at the Mt. Rushmore KOA, Lindsey and I knew that we would have a blast at the campground (Although I thought it was more of a resort). From ice cream shops to waterslides to beach volleyball and other activities, this place had it all. Although we wanted to stay and play, we headed into the nearby tourist town of Keystone where we rode down an awesome alpine slide and went out for a delicious dinner.
The next day, which happened to be the 4th of July, we went back to the town for a little shopping and exploring, but there wasn’t much to explore. Keystone’s pretty small. That night, we spent a while in Custer State Park trying to find their celebratory fireworks. Around 8:30, we realized that the fireworks were in the city of Custer, not the state park. Luckily, with the sun setting so late, we were able to arrive at the light show with plenty of time to spare. The fireworks were set off by the local volunteer firefighters, but it was still an amazing (and quite long) show.
Finally, towards the end of the stop at Mt. Rushmore, we finally got to see the famous monument itself. It was a little smaller than I imagined, but still extremely impressive. The builder had wanted to put faces of four monumental leaders of the United States up on the side of the mountain, so he chose (from left to right) George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. I thought it was really cool to see and learn about the amazing monument that people have marveled about for years past and many more to come.
After visiting Mt. Rushmore, we went to Wind Cave National Park where we took an awesome tour of the cave that got its name from the rushing winds that can blow your hat off into the natural entrance. It was a very nice park and I’m glad we had the time to visit. In fact, the whole trip to the Mt. Rushmore area was very pleasant and I wasn’t in any way disappointed.