After a nice breakfast, we started to get packed up. We hadn't got much out because we knew our stay in Wisconsin was going to be really short, so packing up was quick and easy. As Willie Nelson put it, we were "On the road again."
After about a 10 hour drive, we pulled the trailer back into our driveway and unhitched for the last time of the trip. This was positively, absolutely, 100%, the greatest trip we've taken to date. I can't imagine how we'll ever top it, but we're going to give it our best shot in the years to come!
Today was spent at Noah's Ark Waterpark. The drive from South Dakota to Michigan needed to be broken up and this was a perfect break! The Wisconsin Dells area is a giant tourist trap and a family could easily spend 3-4 days here enjoying the normal tourist town attractions. There are actually several very large waterparks both indoor and outdoor and many had an amusement park area and/or go-carts too.
We didn't bring our camera so we didn't capture any personal pictures - these were pulled off the web
Of course we had a great day and enjoyed the whole park, but the ride below stuck out in everyone's mind as one of the scariest! The look on the kids' faces were priceless!
Time to head out and move on down the road. We were ready to put South Dakota in the rear-view mirror and head to Wisconsin.
We made a quick stop at the Badlands Visitor Center to turn in the kids' junior ranger books and get their National Park Jr. Ranger badges.
After about a 15 hour drive, we pulled into Mirror Lake State Park. It was dark, the mosquitoes were hungry, and we were tired so as soon as the trailer was backed in and set up, we went straight to bed.
Today we were taking it pretty easy and decided to drive the Needles Highway and check out the Needles Eye and Cathedral Spires in the Black Hills area of South Dakota. We thought the area was beautiful and were really glad we didn't skip over it.
Getting closer to the edge to get a better view.
We had to pull in the truck mirrors because it was a little close for comfort.
We parked in the small lot just past the tunnel and explored the area. We had such a good time climbing the rocks and getting a birds eye view. Who needs a McDonald's play-scape when you have this?!
Once again, looking for wildlife and we were NOT let down. Wild turkeys, deer, bison, pronghorn, and prairie dogs, oh my!
With the sun setting on day 17, we headed back for a grilled dinner and a nice campfire. I found a large amount of firewood along the road today so the fire was extra large on this cooler night. The kids stayed up with us for awhile and the whole family enjoyed talking about all the neat things we had seen so far on this trip. After a few too many s'mores, the kids hit the sack. Tina and I stayed up late talking by the fire with some adult beverages to keep us going well into the wee hours. After so many nights camping without a campfire in the Tetons and Yellowstone, we were really glad to be able to wrap up our days around a fire once again(: