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Mount Rushmore

Our way to Mount Rushmore saw a little more traffic and a lot more motorcycles. Good thing is, there’s now a truck route from I-90 to the park. There were still plenty of steep grades—they made Edelweiss struggle a few times, but we made it! At least we could avoid downtown Rapid City, SD. There’s also a new Walmart that we stopped at to grab some food.

I dug up this cute picture of the boys when they were little, about 5 & 2, and tried to recreate it. But we just couldn’t get the size of the monument the same, AND have both boys in the frame. It was weird, we tried everything. Either way, we couldn’t figure out the depth-of-field, so we took one as close a match as we could get :)

It cost us $11 to park but there was no entrance fee. We also had a perfect parking spot for Edelweiss and toad, right outside the entrance. This was our second visit to this monument, and one of the places I never thought we’d visit twice in a lifetime, but there we were.

Another beautiful day!

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New Roadschooling Year Begins

The kids got a short break in July between school “years” and on August 1st we began easing back into lessons again. I have a lot more planned for them this year as they enter 10th, 7th and 2nd grades respectfully.

Which essentially means more work for me :)

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Not Ready To Leave Ohio Yet

We ended up extending our stay at Cross Creek another day. We just had too much to do to leave just yet. Columbus is a mecca for all things shopping. If you can’t find it in Columbus, you probably don’t need it :)

We took advantage of Stacey’s Costco membership to get 4 new tires on the toad. After that nasty blow-out in West Virginia, we wanted to make sure we were safe enough to drive to Idaho. The aluminum wheel involved in the blow-out was too far gone to reuse, but as luck would have it, Columbus is home to the one and only Wheel Medic; they specialize in repairing and resurfacing aluminum and steel wheels. Although ours was beyond repair, they did have a couple used wheels in stock that were a perfect match for our Saturn at a fraction of the new cost. We got our spare tire mounted and ready for our next tire emergency.

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Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park ranks high on my favorite places list. We were last here for our first wedding anniversary and the area is just as beautiful, albeit a bit more civilized. Let’s just say it has the nicest Walmart I’ve ever set foot in.

We stayed at the KOA nearby, who made us stay a minimum of 3 nights in order to get full hookups, which was a first—crazy. The park was excellent though, so it wasn’t a hardship.

We did hit some undesirable weather on the first day, so we sat home and started school for the year. The kids were thrilled! Ok, not really. The next day was perfect though, so we set out to explore!

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Tree Top Ziplining

Before we left West Virginia, Keri was able to get all the boys out on a private Tree Top Adventures ziplining session.

Divagirl and I went into town and hung out at the old fashioned Ben Franklin store. I thought they had closed them all! It was a walk down memory lane.

The boys really enjoyed zipping from tree to tree – there were about 10-12 ziplines throughout the tree canopy, and each one varied in length and speed. Having a private tour, with just the boys and two guides, made it even more awesome.