Day 18-Custer, South Dakota and Mt. Rushmore

Day 18: Custer, South Dakota & Mt. Rushmore

Another happy day with the Happies here! Our adventure began this morning as we pulled out of the lovely Ponderosa Campground and headed towards our destination of the day: Mt. Rushmore. Driving through even more of Wyoming was surely a sight to see and astounded us with the sheer beauty of the landscape and the abundant wildlife, especially when we went through Shell Canyon. We even got to see a few more elk and bison!
As we made our way through the gorgeous Wyoming countryside, we found ourselves loving some cinnamon rolls (including strawberry rolls!), and munching on some grapes as well. Throughout the day as we wound through the wilderness, we shared lots of snacks and took several naps. The secret to TWB is not sleeping at night, but taking lots of naps on the bus! We all caught up on some sleep today (especially in the most awkward of positions).
For lunch, we switched it up from peanut butter and jelly to peanut butter, Nutella, and marshmallow fluff! It was certainly a very nutritious meal of fluff and stuff. By mid-afternoon, we finally reached Custer, South Dakota. The little western town greeted us with open arms, and we even got to meet the mayor (and his dog)! We all spent the rest of the afternoon practicing our dance routines for the competition tomorrow (they are not ready for our show-stopping routine). Between the laughs and the awkward dance moves, we all had the best time with lots of whips, nae-naes, and shoots.
Before heading on to Mt. Rushmore, we ate a superb meal of taco salad with watermelon. Most of us even got seconds it was so delicious! After putting the final touches on our routines and playing on the playground a bit, we all piled into the bus once more to head up the mountain.
After napping all the way up, we woke up to find ourselves looking at the craniums of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Honest Abe. After getting our 100th group picture, we all split up to eat all the ice cream, take more pics than your mom at your first prom, and run the gift shop out of business. After buying $7 ice cream cones and $40 t-shirts we headed down the steps to the amphitheater for a presentation by the Ranger.
 We were put in the mood by a couple of patriotic songs before hearing different quotes by the four iconic presidents and more historical figures. Later, we heard a brief history lesson on the four president’s past lives. (Some of us had flashbacks to APUSH.) We watched an inspiring video on America’s history and where the president’s actions played into the making of our country and this monumental monument. At the end, the lights shined bright on the beautiful rock that means so much to our nation. We had a special moment when Kendall, our counselor, was called onto the stage to help fold the American flag after the show.

Finally we settled down in the Custer YMCA at 10:30, which if you didn’t know is the largest freestanding log cabin in America. We are grateful to be inside and away from the bugs and rain for the first time since San Francisco.

Dance routines with stunts included!

The Dopeys are serious about their dancing.

The cooks working on a fantastic dinner of taco salad.

Rex, the operator of the YMCA in Custer, who is so nice to let us sleep there!

Group picture with our pals up on the mountain behind us.

Very presidential poses from the TWB crew.


Connor, Emily, Erin, Katie, Claire, Brice, Jana, and Addi posing in front of the mountain.

Mary C., Gracie, Karina, Haven, and Reagan cheesin' with the presidents.

Haven stands above all: including Mt Rushmore (if only from this angle)!

Our counselors are very presidential... least most of the time!

All of us anticipating the show.

A proud TWB family cheers on our one and only Kendall as he stands amongst other service men and women.

So proud to have Kendall as part of our family.

Ready to wind down and get some rest in the Custer YMCA!

A beautiful end to a beautiful day!