Mount Rushmore Or Bust: Our Maiden RV Voyage

Earlier this summer, we set out on a two-week maiden voyage in our (now beloved) Winnebago, Bernadette, with our sights set on checking Mount Rushmore off our travel bucket lists.

At first we were like “What did we do?” Now we’re wondering, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?!” It was so much fun exploring different parts of America than we’ve seen before.

Here are some snaps from our travels.

By George, this was unexpectedly my favorite shot of Mount Rushmore. If you drive just past it, there’s a little turn-off on the road where few stop to see America’s #1.
At Custer State Park in South Dakota, the views along the Iron Mountain Road and Needles Highway scenic drives are as stunning as these adorable, one-lane mini-tunnels carved through the granite.
We let the kids pick what we’d do one day. They chose the Alpine-style rollercoaster at Rush Mountain Adventure Park, which we rode at least ten times. Basically, it pull you up to the top of the mountain, and then gravity brings you down. My extra poundage meant that I was the speediest. 🙂
Bennie & Pippa are having a great time hanging with us.
Silliness while binging Glee. The kids are obsessed with this show, and I’m there for it.

Also, did you know that the largest sand dune in North America is in Colorado of all places? Tucked in the bosom of two mountains, the wind sheds its desert sands to make it over the range…for everyone to surf, sled and climb. It’s insane. 

Back in South Dakota, Sylvan Lake is a very different, equally other-worldly scene. If you’ve watched ”National Treasure 2” (I love all of those movies), you’ve seen this lake.
The one above, taken by Todd, is one of my faves. Bernadette’s windshield is so big that you can see everything…and in a state like Wyoming (my favorite on this trip), you can see for what seems like 100 miles.

If this isn’t the perfect ad for Winnebago, I don’t know what is!
Watching family-favorite “The Devil Wears Prada” at a campsite in rural Oklahoma, as typical families do.
Claire is obsessed with draining the tanks. She’s Todd’s right-hand woman when it comes to ridding our rig of…poop.

We stopped at Billy The Kid’s grave in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. My advice: if you ever want to see it yourself, just look at this picture. This is about as exciting as it gets. It’s hot, dusty and down a long rough road. Consider our sacrifice your gain.

Many evenings on this journey, we’ve been blessed with rainbows. This one, taken at the adorable, pint-sized Curt Gowdy State Park near Cheyenne, Wyoming, was a fave.

Gone fishing – Claire especially enjoyed slowing down and casting a line. (Lake Anita State Park, Iowa)
No drive through South Dakota is complete without a stop at Wall Drug. If you’re wondering where it is, you’ll know when you’re getting closer by the incessant roadside ads for it. (It’s like a Buccee’s, but with 100 rooms and shops under one roof.)
Our enormous circularly route, as planned using RV Trip Wizard, included stops in Lubbock (TX), Santa Fe (NM), La Veta (CO), Cheyenne (WY), Louis & Clark Lake (SD), Lake Anita (IA), Kansas City (MO) & Broken Arrow (OK).

Cooper

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