After getting to our hotel, we organized our room and headed to Mt. Rushmore.
Last winter, I won a Instagram give-away from the SD Department of Tourism, which included a Mt. Rushmore parking pass, a state park sticker and several South Dakota-Made goodies like truffles and coffee. This giveaway was a major motivation to get out to the Hills this summer - more like a good excuse to see how well the kids would do in the car (we had a 10 hour car trip planned for July... posts about that one eventually!).
Dan hadn't been to Mt. Rushmore since they improved the trails and the visitor center, and Ev was excited to see Mt. Rushmore - we have one book that has it and there is a big painting of it at Wall Drug. James, on the other hand was pretty tired and pretty cranky. Neither child has ever slept super well in the car, so he had only one short nap before our stop at Wall Drug. But, we got through it and enjoyed the hike.
Instead of heading back to the hotel right away, we decided to head to nearby Horse Thief Lake for another short hike. Ev and Dan had some fun exploring again, while James was in the carrier on my back... still not sleeping - crazy one-year-old!
Here, we let James out a bit... he loves exploring just as much as Ev does, but his footing isn't quite as sure ;)
After this hike, we headed back to Rapid. Both kids were asleep within 3 minutes in the car! We picked up some pizza and then enjoyed the water park at the hotel. Day 1 was a full, fun and exhausting day!