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deadwood to mount rushmore

So we’ve arrived at day 9. Day 8’s post - whitehall to yellowstone to deadwood - featured some fun journal stuff and a few photos, especially photos with state border signs! So let’s see what happens after Deadwood, shall we?

June 21, 2018

Deadwood to Mt. Rushmore

It’s just 4:15 now, and I woke up from the most marvelous nap. It was probably about an hour-and-a-half long and the result of so much driving yesterday.

Archy and I woke up just before 7 AM this morning, and I, once again, took a nice long shower. Archy didn’t want to get up right away, which was nice because I took my time getting ready.

After she peed and pooped on her walk, I left her in the room to go get some of the continental breakfast at the hotel. I had ketchupy eggs and a biscuit with honey and a couple bites of some small muffins one of the other hotel guests recommended.

Breakfast was busy, and it was filled to the brim with people in their 70s participating in a tour. I sat by myself at breakfast and ended up eavesdropping on a table full of older women who reminded me of The Golden Girls. I chuckled to myself all through breakfast as they chatted away about Calamity Jane, college football, the South, and insufferable men. They were my heroes, and it was a delightful start to the day. Archy and I must have been on the road around 8 AM. Seeing as how I wasn’t able to check-in at the KOA until 11, I made sure we took our time and enjoyed the ride. We drove through the main street of Deadwood, and it was setup like an old Western Town. We stopped to get a picture at the beginning of the street, too.

Along our way we stopped at two scenic overlooks, which were part of a dam system and were very beautiful. We passed through another themed town called Keystone on our way where we also visited to fill up with gas.

We made it to Mt. Rushmore! There were these trees lining the drive to enter that looked like they were shedding endless amounts of wishes in the breeze. Like they were floating dandelions everywhere. It was beautiful.

The Mt. Rushmore Monument was incredible. I’ve seen it dozens of times in pictures, yet pictures hardly do it justice. I was amazed by the coloration of the mountain face and the attention to details. I also enjoyed the walkway up, bearing all the state flags. It was a lot to take in, and I lucked out and found someone who actually took a decent photo (in that at least I'm in it)!

After the visit to Mt. Rushmore (and a slight dance through the gift shop where I did not buy anything), I decided to take a drive to see Crazy Horse. I ended up not paying and turning around, but I did get to see the monument itself from afar, and it was impressive, too. I think the awe of Mt. Rushmore combined with so much driving was enough for me for one day.

Archy and I got checked into the KOA, and it’s pretty cool! There’s a pool and a row of shops, great daily planned activities, and a leash-free dog area called Mount Barkmore. Dumb name. Obviously I love it. Of course I took Archy there, but she wasn’t impressed and didn’t want to stay. After Mount Barkmore and getting the tent setup, I had to eat something! Archy and I sat on the outdoor patio of The Peak Grill and Tap Room at the KOA and had lunch. I ate. She just begged. Eventually I caved and gave her a few nibbles of cheese from my salad. My salad was delicious, and I inhaled it. After lunch I knitted for a little bit and then took a well-deserved nap in my tent with Archynanas.

Today is the Summer Solstice, which means it’s the longest day of the year. I think I’m lucky to get to spend it in as beautiful and peaceful a place as South Dakota. I am, admittedly, getting a little bored with all the driving, but I think that the boring drives are the scenic magic that lies between the big moments. You can’t have one without the other, and I love both, especially with the world’s sweetest pup as my copilot and cuddlebug.

I just took Archy to the bathroom with me, and we met the nicest man who walked back with us. He told me all about how he and his wife had their dog pass away from old age. They just got two puppies they left at home with a dogsitter, and we joked about having to wake up in the middle of the night to take them out, the relief when they’re finally able to make it through the night without any potty breaks or accidents, and how I kind of miss those bonding days now that I don’t have to take Archy out in the middle of the night to pee. What a nice conversation. We’re nestled at the very top of our camp cul de sac, and I can look out over all of it as I write. It’s pretty cool and really relaxing.

Going to get to bed at a decent time again tonight as tomorrow is another long driving day to the Corn Palace and then to a KOA in Minnesota! Considering getting some ice cream, but I have discovered McDonald’s frozen cold brew, and it was so bad for me but so delicious. I might treat myself tomorrow.

Also, I really miss working out and running and my gym routine. All this fresh air sure is nice, though! And I think I want to run a full marathon this year (within a year). I did a half two-and-a-half weeks ago at the Grove, and I want to build upon that mindset and momentum. For now, though, I’m going to enjoy South Dakota.

OMG you read that? I MISSED WORKING OUT. Also, past me and future me would get along. Guess who's training for and running the Barcelona Marathon in March? That's within a year of June 21st! Woop woop! I'm running to raise money for the American Cancer Society, so if you could throw a little loose change their way and help give me a little additional motivation, you can do so here. Also, I really don't let Archy eat people food often. But she was just being such a good sport on the road trip. Can't wait to have kids one day and say "just this once" probably like all the time when they ask for like candy or whatever. "Just this once" will quickly become, "ok, but don't tell daddy." At least I know it, right? Ay yi yi. Anywayyy can't wait for you guys to read all about the Corn Palace and that whole adventure. Tune in next time for GASP! day 10 double digits!

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