Tuesday we were in Spearfish, South Dakota. After breakfast, Mom decided that Calum and I had better get some schoolwork done. I waded through notes for chapters one and two of The Westing Game (I decent book, but hard to take notes on) and a few math problems. If I can remember how to solve inequalities with what I think are called absolute values (I’m probably wrong), then I’d be a bit better off, but that’s the way things go. I’ll get it eventually.

We both grew bored quickly, so we went for a swim in hotel pool. It was rather nice, as far as hotel pools go: a sort of rounded square of a decent size. We had it to ourselves, which was doubly nice.

Dad came home after an hour or so of swimming, so we dried off and jumped in the car. It was about an hour’s drive to Mt. Rushmore, which wasn’t bad.

The path to Mt. Rushmore’s viewing deck is lined with squared poles. From each pole hang four flags, one on each side. Connecticut’s flag is on the first pole of the left row.

One thing I didn’t realize about Mt. Rushmore was that they aren’t just heads. You can really see Washington’s shoulders and part of his arm, and Lincoln has the top of his suit showing. Also, you can see Roosevelt’s glasses. I always used to think that they were just four heads, but really it’s a lot more than that.

We checked out the museum, a movie, and the bookstore as well. I met a man who actually worked on the sculpture, and wrote a book about it. I bought a copy, and he signed it, which was very cool.

Calum had found a nearby cave on his map, so we drove to go check it out. When we got there, it was very different from what I had expected. It was owned by a woman who lived in a house down the hill, and she was the only person there besides three high school students, her employees and the tour guides. Cool summer job, right?

A boy led us up a tall flight of stairs winding up the rock face, to the mouth of the cave. The rock was interesting there, all split and squared.

Inside the cave, the rock varied a lot. It was many shades of orange, tan, and yellow, and gave off a rather cheerful, calm aura for a chilly cave with winding tunnels. We saw stalagmites, stalactites, straight bars that go from ceiling to floor, and crooked bars. There was cave ice, the fastest growing formation in the cave that did look a lot like ice, and fallen chunks of rock that were starting to grow together. There were rocks shaped like bison, prairie dogs, steak, Mt. Rushmore…everything. It was pretty cool.

The length of cave we were touring was lined with light bulbs that our guide flicked on as we neared them and flicked off as we left them behind. However, Dad thought it would be “fun” if we turned them “off” and had to “follow” our “guide” using his “flashlight”. Brilliant, Dad, brilliant. Well, it was incredibly dark, and actually pretty fun. Like I said before, it wasn’t a scary cave, more of a cool cave.

That day ended with schoolwork and bed…the traditional way to end the day.

-Iona-