Early this summer, I took an amazing road trip with my family. We drove from Kirkland, WA across Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota, to see Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone State Park. We left the day school got out for my brother Aidan and I. Along the way, we toured other less known places such as Lewis & Clark Caverns, Jewel Caves, Devil’s Tower, Crazy Horse Monument and the Badlands. I think Yellowstone was my favorite. I had a great time, because we never ran out of things to do.
In Yellowstone, the views and animals were spectacular. <http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm> We stayed at the Old Faithful Inn -our one night in Yellowstone- which was next to the famous Old Faithful Geyser. < http://www.yellowstoneparknet.com/park_lodging/old_faithful_inn.php> I had heard about the geyser that erupts every ninety minutes. I was awestruck at finally being there and getting to see it in person. My family and I saw other geysers and hot springs too. All of them have their very own names; one thing they do have in common is the smell of sulfur. My brother Aidan, who is eleven, kept joking about the people around the geysers had “eaten beans for breakfast”. Meanwhile, looking at the animals living in the park, I saw my very first bison! They are magnificently huge creatures, and we saw a lot. We should have brought binoculars. Most animals were far away from the road; especially the bears. I love Yellowstone’s peaceful, open environment. It is not like a zoo, where everybody sees the same thing. This park reflects the Earth’s beauty, with every turn a new adventure.
Mt. Rushmore, another stop, is very grand and decorated. <http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm> Flags for each state border the walkway viewing the mountain. Below the monument is a seating area for the night shows. While wandering the visitor’s center, I saw models for the carvings; and learned the reason why the original sculptor, Glutzum Borglum chose those presidents. Washington fought for our independence including the birth of the republic; Jefferson expanded our lands; Lincoln united our country, furthermore, equalized all people; finally T. Roosevelt produced rights for the common citizen, as well as being active in foreign affairs. I discovered that the sculptor, sadly didn’t live to see the finished carvings. That night we stayed in the Holiday Inn Express in Keystone, as we did in many other cities. <www.hiexpress.com>
My parents along our trip were not strict on the schedule, allowing time for everything. We always had a new thing to explore. I took a lot of photos to remember this trip. This kind of road trip, everybody should experience! I feel it brought me closer to my family and nature. This was a nice break from Aidan and I being stressed out over school, plus sports. I believe my parents also enjoyed the break from work. All four of us will be able to talk about the trip with each other. Because of spending ten days in a car, and sleeping in hotel rooms together, I gained many memorable moments, like seeing a bison with no tail, as well as hiking in the badlands where my mom freaked out a “little” over the heights, then one morning, there was a cat in our hotel room. I think it’s safe to say I know my family better and am more aware of the natural wonders on this planet.
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