Total Distance: 8539 miles
Today's Destinations: Mt. Rushmore, SD; Billings, MT
Justin was feeling a little better today, so we headed out to Mt. Rushmore, which is not that far from Rapid City. It's a nice drive, largely because you start to see evergreen trees when you get close.
I know understand why Justin thought Mt. Rushmore looks smaller than he imagined it. You don't get really up close to it unless you go on this long walk thing. The design of it seems almost intentionally deceptive to the eye. It reminded me of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, which is actually the largest Christian basilica in the world, but it looks and feels small. I remember the high-relief carvings of cherubs on the walls, which looked so tiny until you got right up next to them and saw they were over 6 feet tall. Mt. Rushmore is like that. I don't think you realize how big it is unless you look at photos of people building it.
After viewing the site, we tried to get an oil change at Walmart, but they couldn't do it because they were out of the right filter? or something. This is the second time a Walmart has been unable to change my car's oil. Fortunately we don't need an oil change until we get back home, so I think we'll just wait. But because of that, we got a late start getting on the road - it was after 12:30 by the time we actually were on I-90 again.
We finished our latest Agatha Christie novel and didn't feel like starting another one, so we just talked. But when you've been talking for 4 weeks and 9000 miles, conversations start to get a little loopy. For example, I decided that in my reality, all the cows were buffalo and their names were all Wooly. That level of conversation for four hours.
I was really hoping we'd make it all the way to Bozeman tonight, but by the time we reached Billings we were just tired of being in the car. So here we are, 650 miles from home. We were originally going to go to Yellowstone, but we're in no state to even enjoy it right now, so it's going to have to wait for another trip (maybe later this summer?). We just want to get home. Tomorrow we're going to drive as far as we can and see if we can get all the way there.