On the first full day we were there we went to Hot Springs and played at the little city park which has a beautiful stream rushing through it, we went to the Mammoth Site, and we went to Cascade Falls. The City park was a big hit with everyone, but the Mammoth Site was pretty disappointing. It cost a lot, wasn't very hands-on, and we got a pretty bad tour guide. I think Cascade Falls was the big winner for the day, and we all had so much fun that I didn't get a single picture of it.
Hot Springs park:
|Eden and a bone.|
|Old technology vs. new technology.|
The third day we went to Mt. Rushmore.
|I like this picture because Nathan and Eden are striking exactly the same pose.|
|This picture was before Aunt Christie bribed Z with the promise of icecream . . .|
|. . . and this one was after!|
And on the fourth day we went to the Spearfish area and hiked Roughlock Falls, toured an old gold mine in Deadwood, and panned for gold at the same gold mine. We highly recommend touring the gold mine (go to the one in Deadwood, not Lead) and panning for gold! Our tour guide at the gold mine was worth his weight in gold (haha!) especially compared to our Mammoth Site tour guide. He was full of bad jokes and good information. At one point he showed us a huge open cavern and told us that a bad movie about a huge spider had been shot there, and every once in a while the spider still emerged to grab the tourist standing closest to his tunnel. Here he stopped and just stared at me until I finally realized I was the one about to get grabbed. Eden also understood what he was saying and for the next week kept asking when we were going to see "the humongous spider". And although I have always thought of panning for gold as just a scam and totally touristy, it was not only very fun but also very interesting! Each of the kids came away with a little vial of gold dust, which was absolutely thrilling.
The water at Roughlock Falls was SUPER cold, unlike at Hot Springs (for obvious reasons!).