Black Hills July 2020

We now take a break from our regularly scheduled “Meet the Family” posts to share with you about our 4th of July weekend in the Black Hills.

And we didn’t even go to see Donald Trump. (Or have to see him. Yay!) Except for this…

A Trump Pence 2020 poster we saw in Keystone, SD

One of my sisters lives in Montana, and the Hills are about halfway between where they live and where we live. And the 4th was a long weekend. That’s all.

My sister’s family at Mt. Rushmore
Left to Right: Matthew, Casey, and Amanda (with strangers in the background)


So anyway. We excitedly headed to the Hills Thursday afternoon. We arrived kinda late in the evening, and we just had dinner, put the kids to bed, and chatted at the campfire with some beers. Only my sister and her son were there when we arrived because her husband actually had to work Friday.

Friday, we planned to go to Bear Country and the Dinosaur Museum. We started with Bear Country because it closed two hours earlier than the museum. Jason and three kids were in our Expedition, my sister, her son, two of our girls, and I were in my sister’s Acadia. We followed Jason. Early on, I noticed fluid on the ground, but it started far out in front of the Expedition (although our car was adding to the stream). I determined it was condensation from everyone having their air conditioners on in their vehicles. However, as we progressed, the puddles under the Expedition were getting bigger. When we reached the mountain lion exhibit, I called Jason to tell him something was dripping. He said the temperature was increasing, so he turned the car off for a bit. When we started going again, the car kinda resisted. So we stopped in the bear exhibit. We called the park staff for a tow, and they brought the Expedition to the parking lot for a tow truck to pick it up. We piled into the Acadia and went back through the park to see the things we had missed. By then, it was closing time, and we just headed back to camp.

Our Expedition (AKA Beauty) being towed out of Bear Country because we have the worst car luck ever

Friday night, the winds kicked up, and the tent broke, collapsing on Jason and the kids in the middle of the night.

The tent Saturday morning. Two rods had snapped, and one of them had punctured the rain cover.

Saturday, my brother-in-law arrived and brought their tent. We visited Mount Rushmore and Keystone before catching a few fireworks on the way back to the campground.

Being a holiday weekend, we had to leave the Expedition in Rapid City. It will either be towed home early in the week or looked at by the shop there later in the week. (The leaking liquid was transmission fluid. Oy!)

So, this morning, my sister and her husband drove us back home, going way out of their way and WAY above and beyond! We are super grateful! It was a bummer that our typically bad car luck had to ruin our fun weekend with them. But it was still a good weekend, overall. And super nice to see the little nephew!

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