Let me see, where did I leave off? After viewing Mt. Rushmore (which younger DD calls "Mount Mushmore"), we headed to our hotel, the Rushmore Express and Suites. It was very nice, I mean granite bathroom, whirlpool tub in the room, gas fireplace nice. Super nice. You'd be happy to get this room for a honeymoon. It was pricey, yes, but mostly that was due to the Sturgis rally. I'd stay there again. It's at the quiet end of the small pseudo-1880 town of Keystone, right up against a rocky hillside.
We got up, had a brief small (the only disappointment) Continental Breakfast, and headed up to see the Mountain in the daylight. It was amazing! There's an easy trail/boardwalk that gets you really quite close to the faces themselves. Of course, the crowd consisted mainly of bikers--I don't think there's a beer garden at Mt. Rushmore all the time!
After we'd seen our fill of the Mountain, we headed back down the mountain, stopped briefly in Rapid City to make some sandwichs and gas up, and then, back on the road. Our goal was to reach Iowa and we did, though it was a long haul. On the way, we stopped at Wall to visit Wall Drug (crazy, but neat), we stayed too long! The kids loved the ice cream and rides and of course, the T-Rex! DH loved the Western Wear and threatened to buy a hat! I liked the bookstore, full of books about the prairie lifestyle of a hundred years ago, and of course, lots of Little House related books!
Our other main stop in South Dakota was in Mitchell, to see the Corn Palace. Well, I'll tell you: you can skip the Corn Palace. Look at the website, click a few links, consider yourself done.
Then, it was a speed run for Iowa. We gassed up in Mitchell, and hit the road. I don't like to drive at night, and as we were moving east and then, south, the sun set. It was the toughest driving I've done so far on this trip, getting to Sioux City. But we were determined not to spend another night in South Dakota.
We found a Best Western just off the highway, and had a good night's sleep and a great free breakfast the next morning.