Well by some miracle (I told you God's grace was new every morning) we mostly slept through the night and were loaded up and ready by 7:19 this morning. These kids are troopers. Would you just look at these precious children who just go along with their parents' whim to drive across the country. Look at these faces that have no idea we could have taken an airplane and been to Wyoming in five hours.
It's just really better not to know, little ones.
Charlie did pretty well today except for those ten minutes that he screamed bloody murder. I was thinking he must have a stomach pain or splitting headache or something fatal so I asked Andrew to pull over the car so we could take his temperature.
Just an orange. He was actually sitting on top of an orange that somehow made its way under his little bottom at the last rest stop. Charlie, orange you glad it wasn't a banana? :)
We took our lunch break at Wall Drug Store, which is basically a big tourist trap. We had been a few years ago and found ourselves kind of loving the silliness of it all. The boys certainly loved getting out of the car for a stroll and some peanut butter crackers.
And Wilson left with 83 cents worth of geodes, so he was a happy camper!
Next, we made our way through Badlands National Park. This is another repeat stop for us but it's just beautiful and is one of those places that takes your breath away.
I was imaginging the pioneers who passed through many years ago on their journies west. How I'm sure many of them paused here with prayers for protection or thanksgiving or hope.
There's just something so secure in the thought that the same God's eyes and ears have been on this place since the beginning of time. I know that's true for all places, but seeing nature (for the most part) untouched gives that truth more anchor for me.
And then we had our Chinese tourist encounter. It all started when this lady pictured below asked Andrew to take her picture. Andrew spoke a little Chinese with her and suddenly we became her personal photographer.
Of course we didn't mind. At one photo op, I cut off her feet and she let me know she wasn't happy about that (or at least that's how Andrew's translation and her sign language went).
Then she took mine and the boys' picture, while Andrew photographed her photographing us...
And then she asked to take a picture with Charlie. I know this is what she asked because she grabbed Charlie from me and handed me her camera. Andrew was giggling and taking pictures with his phone. What you can't see is me all but clinging onto her elbow and telling her to be careful (Um hello, that is a cliff behind you.)
In this picture she is telling me to back up, because I'm cropping her feet out again.
To which I replied, "Game over, give me back my bebe. "
Somehow after all of that, Charlie became the mascot of this Chinese tour bus on its way to NYC. And I clamped on tight when they all passed by and held out their hands to him.
It's no secret we love the Chinese people, but I was pretty relieved to get away from our new "friend" and keep driving through.
One of our last stops was a prairie with the cutest little prairie dogs popping in and out of holes. Calling out to one another, "Here comes a little boy with a mischievous grin! May Day May Day! Back in the holes!"