One Week Down

We are on day 7 of our trip! I really can't believe how much ground
we've covered, by the end of today we will have gone through thirteen
different states. In this week we have seen and experienced so many
things. It's crazy knowing that some of these experiences will be
once-in-a-lifetime type of things. Then again... There's always next
summer. :)

So, yesterday we made it to Mt. Rushmore. I was shocked how much I
enjoyed it. I had always heard that it was really overrated, but
worth it for the kids enjoyment. So, my own enjoyment was a pleasant
surprise. It was huge, which surprised me for some reason and the
actual attraction was relatively small and manageable. We were able
to drive in, check it out, picnic and get back on the road quickly,
but without having to rush.

After that, we drove as far as we could to get into a hotel because
this morning is yellowstone. We didn't want to camp too close to
yellowstone because of the bear population. (We felt like we run a
high-risk for bear attacks between harper's gremlin cry in the middle
of the night - which could be confused for a wounded animal - and
london's poop inexplicably smelling like movie theatre butter.) So,
we stayed at a little place called the jackpine motel in riverton,
wyoming. If you are looking for a small, quaint, clean and rustic
place to stay in wyoming... This is not the place for you. If,
however, you are looking for green shag carpet and a questionable
odor... We highly recommend jackpine. But, the showers were hot and
the toilet flushed... Which is a luxury these days. It is funny how
quickly our perspectives shift after a few days without little
pleasures like toilets. At mt. Rushmore I filled our nalgene bottles
with ice and water from the soda fountain and the whole family
(included tom) gasped in delight.

Yesterday we realized that en route to yellowstone from our hotel, we
would come within an hour or so of Sacajawea's grave. I did a report
on her in 3rd grade, because she was the only female on the list of
explorers that you could report on. Her whole story amazed me, and I
was disappointed that her burial site and memorial statue wasn't right
on the route. But, tom had set the gps to get to the site while I ran
into the store to restock supplies and just headed there without my
knowing it. I was so happy when I realized what was happening! I
might have cried a little. (But I also cried recently when I got a
season pass to seabreeze, our local amusement park, for my birthday
this year. I like surprises.)

So, we just went to an active native american cemetery where we
visited the grave of sacajawea and her two sons - one was actually the
baby she carried in a papoose (sp?) while she led lewis and clark on
their expedition to the pacific, and the other was her adopted son.
Both lived into their 80's, while she died at 25. She's my hero. So
is tom for going out of our way (when we were already running behind
schedule) to let me go there. This was also cool for the kids too,
because it is also had the first ever school for native american
children. It was also interesting to see different burial customs
that native americans have compared to ours. The kids each put
something (flowers, a coin, a plastic egg with a coin in it) around
the statue of sacajawea, which ended up making for some neat photos.

Next stop, yellowstone national park. The drive is gorgeous, and the
kids each got a piece of clay rock from the wind river indian
reservation when we stopped to take a picture on the side of the road.
Nothing like a road trip on a budget to make you steal souvenirs from
the native american's protected landcape.