By 9:30 AM we were in Rapid City. Somehow we managed to get ahead of schedule and so we used the extra time to check out the rim of the Stratobowl, a historic location for the launch of hot air balloons.
We didn't really intend to hike the distance in. In fact, we only wanted to let Wu run a minute to get some of his crazy out. But the trail was too perfect and we wanted to see what was around the next corner. It was incredibly windy but thankfully most of the hike was in the woods. We ended up looking down on the Stratobowl. It was an awesome sight.
By 10:30 AM we were parking at Bear Country USA. There was a weekend long event that lets the public get up close and personal with little bear cubs. Who doesn't want to get their paws on a cub?
With perfect strolling weather we explored. Eli got to see two huge bears relaxing and playing in a pond. He really enjoyed that. Then he saw his first burro and ponies. He got his face painted- a mustache. But the most fun of all was had when he loved on the bear cubs. After waiting in line he was getting a little fussy until he saw the cubs ahead. Then it was eyes and ears forward and he was on the prowl. He had a bit of a run in with one of the cubs when it opened its mouth just as he stuck his hand towards it. It was adorable.
By 1 PM we were at the Outdoor Campus walking the trails that weave through their acreage. Wu got to go swimming and we enjoyed the quiet. We headed inside to explore and Eli was so excited. He let everyone know how much he liked the aquarium. Then he finally went through a 6 ft. tunnel that he's been too shy to do on our previous trips. We were so proud.
By 2:45 we were home just in time to get out of the rain storm that popped up. Eli napped the day off, wiping most of his mustache with it and we relaxed. It was a beautiful and exhausting day!
|It must have been the mustache! At The Outdoor Campus, 4.27.13|