We depart our hotel around 9:30 headed east once again. A quick 2 ½ hours later we were at Mount Rushmore. We hit rain on the drive and the skies looked a bit scary so I opted to carry our windbreakers, just in case (and insuring that we had a completely dry visit).
After parking we headed in, not really expecting much. We took the required tourist pictures and then headed to the visitor’s center. I inquired about a short walk that I saw on the map and my Sidekick inquired about becoming a Junior Ranger. She was given her book to complete which included a scavenger hunt so we decided the right way to work on it would be on the walk I had asked about. It was actually a lovely walk about a mile long that took you right along the base of the mountain and had information along the way. Towards the end we wandered into the sculptures studio just in time for a ranger talk. The Junior Ranger book for Mount Rushmore was much smaller, which was iin scale with how long most people would visit and did not include a requirement to go to a ranger talk. That didn’t stop my Junior Ranger from listening to the whole thing; despite my desire to move on to something more interesting. From there we went back to the visitor center where I had to drag her out of the exhibit hall (what 4 year has interests like this?). She was then sworn is as a Mount Rushmore National Monument Junior Ranger. She proudly walked about with her badge on for the rest of the visit.
We finished off our 2 ½ hour visit with a picnic lunch before returning to the car just in time for the rain to start and we were then on our way – Badlands here we come!