Today was back to the National Park agenda. Specifically the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. This morning was camp stove pancakes and tie-dying shirts as souvenirs (another KOA activity). There had been a short but furious rainstorm while we were twisting rubber bands and choosing dye colors but the sky looked clear enough to proceed so after a quick lunch we jumped in Ole Wheezy and headed 9 miles over the hill to see those famous faces.
Let’s just say, the rest of the day’s adventures did not go as hoped. The van seems to have gone from tolerable to terrible with the problem now including the radiator. So we had to let her engine cool off for 20 minutes to complete the short drive.
Once there, the Memorial did impress even though you’d never know it from the kids’ expressions.
We stopped in the Museum to check out the exhibits before heading down to the Artist studio, the Presidential trail and the new-ish kids exploration area. We watched the 14 minute video and came out of the theatre to discover the skies had opened up with a torrential downpour. It showed no sign of stopping so we decided that was a sign to say goodbye to the Memorial and headed back to the van rather than tackle the trail. In the picture below they are wet and being pelted with HAIL. Good grief – certainly not the adventure we would have chosen for the day.
Sadly, there were no improvements for the rest of the afternoon. Ole Wheezy needed two “please stop I’m overheating’ rests to get 15 miles to the auto parts store and two more stops to get back to camp. We didn’t quite make it to the Crazy Horse statue like we’d planned – the roadside parking lot before the entrance may be as close as we get.
We’ve extended our stay in the area an extra day and will spend tomorrow morning trying to nurse Ole Wheezy back to tolerable. Fingers crossed!