Mexican Domestic Goddess

Skemps Go West Day 2!

Travel, CampingJacqui SkempComment

{read my previous post in this series here}

We broke camp early that morning. That night we slept with one of us on either side of the tent, with the children sandwiched in the middle. We awoke first, followed shortly by our eldest. While we planned on doing some traveling and sightseeing before arriving at our next destination, we dressed the boys in the one set of mass clothes that we brought for them. Seeing as we wanted to get on the road quickly, we fed the boys fig bars and fruit for breakfast in the car. 

Enjoying a cup of trail mix before breakfast, as one does.

Enjoying a cup of trail mix before breakfast, as one does.

It wasn’t long before we arrived at Badland National Park. It was a welcomed break from the flat terrain of most of South Dakota. I hadn’t looked up any photos of the park, so it was all new to me. I think I spent the next few hours with my jaw on the floor. It was so beautiful and impressive. 


We stopped at the first visitor center in hopes of having the boys do the junior ranger program. But once we saw how involved it was, and because we planned on getting to a midday mass in Rapid City, we opted out of it. I purchased a National Park Passport, sticker for the park, and a few postcards for the grandparents. We got our passport stamped (in the wrong place, but I didn’t notice until the next day) and then we stopped a few times within the park. 

Yes, I used the Junior Ranger stamp even though the kids didn’t do the program.

Yes, I used the Junior Ranger stamp even though the kids didn’t do the program.

We arrived in Rapid City and found a park that was minutes from the parish we were planning on going to. That was also the day I realized my kids would not eat lunch at a park. They’re just too excited to play on a new playground to stop and eat. From that point on, we started using sandwich baggies, and I would prep lunch while Ian watch the kids play. Then we would load them back up into the car and hand out their lunches. 


Before heading to mass, we got several notifications that there was a thunder and hail storm forecasted for the area where we would be camping. We made a last minute decision to stay in a hotel that night. Again, it felt a bit like cheating, but I knew we would be camping for the next three nights, so I was okay with sleeping on a real bed that night.


We went to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, where the baby (my 2.5 year old baby) fell asleep in my arms, as it was well past his naptime. The liturgy was in Spanish, and the priest turned out to be a classmate, and fellow priest, of one of my classmates who I studied with in Rome. 

That evening we rolled into the hotel, ate pizza, and we all swam in the pool. It was pure luxury, and a gift because the next night was going to be quite the opposite. But I’ll save that story for the next post. 

{read the next post in this series here}