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Devil’s Tower

We didn’t make much progress westward today but we did see some awesome natural wonders.

We’ve also been rocking our national passport stamps in the Rocky Mountain region!

Our westward trek on route 90 took us right past Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Well, technically 25 miles off I-90, but how could we miss it when we were so close? We’ve already made the most of our America the Beautiful pass.

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Washington DC

On our second foray into D.C. we were accompanied by my cousin, Dan. We met him at his house and he cooked us a splendid breakfast! He works at the State Department and had a parking space downtown so this time we got a personal chauffeur. Coming back on a Tuesday was less crowded since, theoretically, people should be back at work although there were still tour buses full of people.

Our good friends, Rebecca and Jonathan, in Seattle had given the kids a National Park passport book that we have stamped when we visit a National Park, Forest or Monument. I think with this one trip we nearly filled an entire section! It’s a fun way to record all the national places we visit so hopefully the kids will be reminded of them when they get older.

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The Smithsonian

Our visit to Washington D.C. was a blast! We visited various places over two days, and were fortunate to have Heather’s aunt—day 1, and cousin—day 2, be our personal tour guides. We were also fortunate to have great weather on both days…blue skies and sunny, if only a touch on the warm side.

Our fist day was spent touring a handful of destinations along the National Mall: The Smithsonian Castle, National Museum of Natural History, Air & Space Museum, a couple refreshment stands and a carousel.

The Smithsonian Castle was iconic, but had limited visual appeal for the kids inside. We walked in, looked at the dedication to the founder of the Smithsonian Institute, looked at the large scale model of the National Mall, planned what we wanted to see, then made our way back out to head over to the Natural History Museum.

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Prince William National Forest

Moving slightly further north in Virginia we found a place to stay near my relatives in Springfield. This is the beginning of the Memorial Weekend, which for the north signifies the start of camping season, made for a little difficulty securing a reservation. But we were able to get the last full hookup site in Prince William Forest for a lot less money than the Cherry Hill Park in Maryland.

We’ve been dealing with some minor annoyances with our toad lately that hopefully a tune up will fix. It has been impossible to find a reputable mechanic that could check her out on short notice without keeping her over the weekend. But we were able to get an appointment for first thing Friday morning with my cousin’s mechanic in Springfield so hopefully everything will be taken care of.

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Yorktown Battlefield

We made it to Virginia, our 8th state. We are staying at the Williamsburg Thousand Trails park which seems to be nice so far and the people are friendly.

The kids and I took a field trip today to Yorktown National Park to learn about the battle there during the Revolutionary War.

This week there have been some terrible storm systems passing through the nation. The tornado damage in Oklahoma and the midwest was just devastating. We only experienced rain from that. For us, the cloud cover was a blessing because it made the 80+ degree heat and humidity nearly tolerable while walking the battlefields. I cannot imagine what the conditions would have been like in 1781. Oh, and the bugs…!