The Wind Caves we fun to explore with our ranger guide. It's incredible to think about what nature can create all on it's own! we learned about the young man who made it his goal to discover the most he could of these wind caves and how much time he spent underground writing notes and drawing, just carrying a lunch and a few candle sticks. I still don't know how he could go down there and not be terrified. And it was SO COLD!
Artifacts at the Visitor's center
This was where they originally discovered the Wind caves. A minor was walking by when he heard a whistling sound and tried to figure out where it was coming from. He said that when he stood next to that opening, it sucked his hat right in! That's how hard the wind was blowing! The direction of the wind changes from time to time so there were occasions where the entrance would blow his hat off his head and onto the ground. We tested it ourselves with blades of grass. Sure enough, the blades were sucked right in! We understood why they called them the Wind Caves after that.
Don't worry- Hadleigh's other shoe was in my pocket
The girls could have done without this little adventure. I think Hadleigh and Taryn were grumpy the whole time!!!! And it was a long tour. I was trying to soak in everything and also tried to pacify my kids who wanted nothing to do with the cool rocks around us (a first for Taryn!!) What they really needed was snacks because apparently breakfast just an hours earlier of pancakes was not enough for them. Both were starving apparently and we were allowed to bring any food items in the cave with us. It was a LONG tour for grumpy kids!
Oliver fell asleep in the caves and I was so jealous! I could only wish for our kids to fall asleep so they wouldn't be so unhappy- but oh well….
After the Wind Caves we headed to Evan's Plunge in Hot Springs, South Dakota. It's a natural spring fed water park with slides, a water volleyball court, kiddie pools, and lots of really fun water slides!!! It was so much fun!! The water temperate stays at a consistent 87 degrees which was absolutely perfect! Everyone had such a great time (except Merrick who threw up right before and had a slight fever while we were there. Ya- he didn't do much swimming at all!) Taryn was super brave a went down the water slides with her water mat by herself (someone catching her at the bottom) and she also went with Tyson and I several times. It was a perfect place the adults to pretend we were little kids again. The water volleyball was a highlight for sure. Our entire family filled the in-water court (the water was about 5ft deep) and we played several great games with a giant inflatable beach ball. Evan's Plunge was amazing and I would totally recommend it if you ever find yourself near there.
Then off to our 2nd Chuck Wagon dinner at the Circle B Ranch. We loved this one and it may be because they fed us first in the program and it was fast service and really great food! Then came the entertainment which was the ranch owners and their musical talents. It really was a fun show. I think our first chuck wagon dinner didn't impress as much because we were all starving and the entertainment came first so we sat through our hunger and the kids lost interest FAST! So we loved this 2nd one.
In jail :(
The kids tried to help round up the "Biscuit bandit" and my kids cried because they are terrified of gun shot sounds (even when they are fake they are so loud!)
Outside there were real ponies to ride and cow heads to pretend to wrangle.
Just look at that dinner!
Biscuits, lots and lots of meat, spice cake, apple sauce, Sarsaparilla, beans, lemonade, baked potatoes, buffalo roast, roast beef and BBQ chicken - ya- food coma for sure!
Hadleigh snapped a picture of her cute little boots during dinner!
Our girls had the toughest time at this dinner. It was the end of the week and they were just getting to the "Done" point. They were both bouncing around with no interest in eating so once Tyson was finished (cause he eats SO FAST!!!!) he took the girls outside to run in the grass with some of their cousins while I finished eating. I'm just glad that Tyson found a sweet spot next to the door where he could hear the music. Actually, it worked out well for him because he was so warm inside he had turned red in the face so he was happy to be outside watching the little kids and I was happy I didn't have any bouncy girls knocking more water on my food!
On our way back to the cabins, Tyson spotted these guys.
The Main Cabin for our family at Palmer's Gulch. This is where my parents, Cameron & Jana, and our little family stayed.
The giant rock that every kids loved to climb on right outside of the main cabin.
"Taryn the blur" running outside while I snap a picture of our caravan minus one car.
We celebrated Cameron and Brooke's birthday early before everyone departed because June/July is filled with birthdays for our family and their birthdays were just a day or two after! Cameron and Ashleigh at the end of June then Brooke starts off July on the 1st. From there, Nataleigh, David, Jacob, and Smitty.