Day 8 - South Dakota!
Jul 13, 2019
Leaving at 12:00 AM from Billings, the kids slept on the bus overnight as we traveled through Wyoming to South Dakota. Many of them were awakened at 7:00 AM to a stopped bus which pulled up to Mt. Rushmore! When we discovered the bus was traveling through Wyoming, we were able to divert the bus from its course to include this great American wonder. The kids enjoyed seeing this great monument in a bucket list moment.
Then we traveled to Wall Drug, which to our surprise was celebrating its 112th birthday with a big parade and many other festivities. Because of this the kids had the opportunity to indulge in a buffet breakfast and despite being obviously older than 12, were generously offered the "children's price." They enjoyed looking around and shopping the many trinkets and western styles offered there. They would have enjoyed hours at the place but due to our schedule (adding Rushmore) we only had enough time for an hour or so.
Next we traveled to Badlands National Park where the kids jumped right in and began exploring the twists and turns of the arid land. Many of them climbing (carefully) were able to enjoy the view from some of the peaks of our stop. It was really fun to watch them work together as a team to help each other navigate the sandy paths. It was very hot there but we took some great pictures of all the young people having fun. Again, we could have spent all day in that park, but as with everything else, we had to depart and keep traveling back towards home.
It was in our plans to visit Wild Water West, a water park in Sioux Falls, but unfortunately our bus had a system problem with the Turbo booster that helps it get up hills. We were delayed at a rest stop where the problem was eventually remedied and we could proceed directly to the hotel. We ordered pizza for the group and shared a nice meal, giving the kids a chance to swim in the hotel pool, shower, and change. Many of them are looking forward to sleeping in a bed again, instead of an air mattress. The youth will meet tonight to discuss our plans for the morning and the return flight home.
I will not blog tomorrow as we will likely be traveling all day. However, I will put a conclusion post up during office hours on Monday detailing our journey home. Tomorrow we will attend St. Joseph's Cathedral for Mass at 9:15 and then visit Sioux Falls Park after Mass. We will only have time to spend a short while at the park before starting back to Minneapolis for our 5:00 PM flight (CST). We will arrive home on our Jet Blue flight at 9:00 PM (EST). There are so many stories to share and we can't wait to share them. There are also many pictures to view and videos to watch, this was a remarkable trip (more still to come)!