Day 18

The sleeper of the day goes tooooooooo.........Mr G!!!! Our amazing bus driver who deserves every bit of rest he can muster up.

Quote of the Day: “June 18, 2016: Dear Diary, I really miss my mom’s tuck-ins, but I’m hoping I can find a cute girl to tuck me in tonight.” –Excerpt from Hunter Wood’s imaginary diary, as told by Dallas. 

After waking up at 6:45 at the Ponderosa Campground in Cody, Wyoming, we hopped on our vehicles for an exhilarating trip to South Dakota. We had a traveling breakfast of donuts and bananas. During our journey, we passed through Shell Canyon. We want to congratulate the perseverance of those who held in their pee for four hours while the Shell Canyon rest area was closed. Luckily, the local Walmart welcomed us with open arms and we were able to relieve ourselves. After eating the marvelous pizza wraps, we stopped at Walmart #2 for the daily shopping trip and the cooks were able to purchase dinner. On the way to Custer, South Dakota, we witnessed lots of majestic deer and pronghorns. Between bringing back the scrunchie trend, playing Bean Boozled, and having Dallas read Hunter’s deepest, darkest, most intimate secrets aloud on the van, we finally reached Custer. Once we reached a community park, we practiced with our groups for an upcoming dance competition to the song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by the gorgeous Justin Timberlake. Our practice time was abruptly interrupted by the aroma of cheese and chicken quesadillas, along with strawberry shortcake for dessert. After dinner, the playground satisfied our inner child.

Josh said he cheered in college, so we tested his skills.

We don't want to spoil what our dance routines look like so stay posted for pictures and videos on an upcoming day!

We then headed over to the historic log cabin YMCA, where we unloaded the bus and caught up on research presentations:

Kate Overman - The Redwood Forest
      - Some of the trees in the forest are taller than the Statue of Liberty

Eleni Hail – The Giant Sequoia Trees
  • John Muir named the forest in 1875
  • The trees grow to an average height of 50-85 meters 

Brynn Robinson – Salt Lake City
  • There are more Mormons in Salt Lake City than non-Mormons

Landyn Gray – The Mormons of Salt Lake City
- The city was created by Mormons and is considered a holy city

Anna Ramsey – Jackson Hole
  • Over 15 films have been made here
  • There are over 100 species of birds

Jake Studebaker – Grand Tetons
  • It is 484 square miles
  • It was established ion 1929

Sofy Saiz - Yellowstone National Park
    - Yellowstone has the largest, free-roaming herd of bison in the world

Liz Cox – Old Faithful
  • In 1882, soldiers would put their dirty laundry into the geyser so their clothes would be cleaned when it erupted

Sydney Craig – The Geysers at Yellowstone Park
  • The word geyser comes from the Icelandic term “geysa” which means to gush

Bryson Bingham – Cody, Wyoming
  • It is the rodeo capital of the world

Ashley Lowry – Cody, Wyoming
  • It was the chosen home of Buffalo Bill who founded the city in 1896

Allie Binkley - The Shoshone River
         - It was named after the Shoshoni Indians

Josie Crooks - State of Wyoming
        - It is the least populated state in America

Taylor Thomas – Custer, South Dakota
  • It is home to Jewel Caves, the second largest cave system in the US and the third largest in the world

Sophie Andrews – The State of South Dakota
       - It is home to the world famous Mashed Potato wrestling contest

Ryan Phillips – Mount Rushmore

- It took about $1 million to build Mt Rushmore

Natalie Warner – Bridal Veil Falls
  • It is believed by the Native Americans that if you inhale the mist of the falls, your chances of marriage will increase.

Kaely Miller – Inspiration Point at Yosemite

  • The closest bathroom is 1.5 miles away
  • It takes 1 to 2 miles to hike

Carly Brown and Avery Biber - Yosimite National Park
     - Each year 3.5 million people from around the world visit Yosemite
     - Yosemite is 761268 acres

Lauren Whitaker & Natalie Royal – San Francisco
  • It is ranked the  second most walkable city in the world
  • There are more than 220 parks in San Francisco

We got back on the vehicles and headed to Mount Rushmore. After all the funny looks that we got while taking our giant group picture, we dispersed to enjoy the best ice cream of the whole trip, for example, the Thomas Jefferson ice cream that happened to just be regular vanilla. Josh told us there was a toll to exit the ice cream was just him getting one lick of each persons ice cream.


Mack Slaughter, Landon Wright, Sophie Andrews, and Logan Schutlz channeling their inner mountain 
The founding faces of our great Nation

Kayla Capps and Jordan Thompson enjoying some Thomas Jefferson ice is just plain vanilla

Rhiannon Smith and Kaely Miller

Hunter Wood and Ryan Phillips were asked by the employees if they were twins

We also shopped at the gift shop. The guide asked for screams from each region of the US, and we represented the Southeast with great pride. While struggling to stay awake during the presentation, about the four presidents featured on Mount Rushmore, the huge rock was lit up and so were we. Service members and representatives of the military were then recognized. After joining together to sing the National Anthem, we went back to the YMCA, where we took the most freezing showers of our whole entire lives. We bedded down to the nightly tuck-ins of Dallas and Sarah. 

"cousins" Carly and Ty Brown representing our state

McKenna Caudill, Jake Studebaker, and Landyn Gray with counselor Dallas

Brooks Godbold rocking the cowboy look

Caroline Swaim, Josie Crooks, and Morgan Bostic

Waiting on the illumination service to begin

All the veterans called down to lower the flag

We are so thankful for these men and women, and their families.  This was such an awesome chance to honor their sacrifice to our country