DILLON & EARL SUMMER CAMPING TRIP 2017- Day 8: MOUNT RUSHMORE EDITION Three years ago, Dillon watched a TV show that featured Mount Rushmore. Ever since then, he has asked me to take him to see the National Monument many times. And I do mean MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY times, but it just didn’t happen. I was busy helping to grow a business and Dillon enjoyed spending summers in Chicago at his grandparents house (timing was just off).
In January, while our family drove to Boone, NC for my birthday, I said to Dillon, “Look, do you see that face in the mountain? That’s Grandfathers Mountain….you want to go see it up close?” He said “No Dad, you promised me you would take me to Mount Rushmore….I want to see those faces….can we go this year?” I said, “Dillon the day you get out of school this year, I will pick you up from school and we will drive to see Mount Rushmore….I PROMISE!!!”.
Well, we arrived in Hill City-Mount Rushmore 6 days after I picked him up from school. It was Thursday evening around 7:45pm and while driving up towards the monument to get to our KOA camp site, we tried not to look because we knew we had a tour set for the next day. However, we were soooooo excited, we glanced and saw a little of President George Washington face and then the tears started to flow. We weren’t crying because we saw Mount Rushmore, we cried because we did it TOGETHER just as we promised each other. You see, I have traveled to this area many times on business, but I made Dillon a promise that I would not visit the monument without him…..I kept my promise too ?
Prior to our visit, we lined up a meet & greet with GO owner Corey Whallan. Corey offered to be our tour guide and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Not only did we see Mt Rushmore, we toured the museums, heard history on how and why it was created, met an “original” worker who helped with the project (92 years old)…..exciting right!!! Corey was very patient with Dillon and I as we had many questions….he knew the answers to them all too.
After visiting Mt Rushmore, we traveled to Custer State Park. During the road trip, I had been telling Dillon I had a surprise for him bigger than Mt Rushmore. Well again, Corey didn’t disappoint….Custer State Park(Wild Life Loop) is where we saw HUGE Bison (Dillon corrected me many times as I called the Bison Buffalo….which they are not the same). Not only were we able to see the Bison, we were 20feet away from them and it was so UNBELIEVABLE! We were able to hear the sounds they made, look directly into their eyes and watch them roam free in their natural habitat. We saw so many animals on this tour, I can’t name them all, but Dillon named them ALL and Corey was impressed! My favorite was the Prairie Dogs (thousands of them and they barked like baby pups).
We saw cool caves, tunnels, climbed rocks and one of Dillon’s favorites, Sylvan Lake, simply majestic is all I can say! The tour was so awesome, I invited Corey and his family to camp with us…..he obliged! Since they have a GO Camper, we are simply the COOLEST. PEOPLE. EVER (so many people came over to see our campers which was pretty cool). We hope you guys enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the experience!
OAN: Corey’s Wife is a Dietician. When I told her what I was cooking for dinner, she said “Whelp, I can just throw that dietician title out the window because we are frying food with Crisco and BACON;)?
OAAN: Dillon is a JUNIOR RANGER!!!