I am a history nerd. There are lots of different ways to get to South Dakota, and I don’t think the way we went would be considered the most direct route, although, it did come up as an option on Google maps. Much of the reason I chose this route was because I wanted to see some of the Lewis and Clark Trail. As it turns out, Omaha serves as the Midwest Regional Office for the Park Service, and that HQ also hosts one of the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail Visitor Centers.
As you can imagine, the Lewis and Clark Trail is quite long (like, all the way to the Pacific Ocean, long…kind of the point), but there are a lot of great sites in Nebraska, North Dakota, etc. We visited HQ in Omaha and the boys completed their Junior Ranger badges.
We have done several Junior Ranger programs with the boys, but this was the first site where the Rangers were REALLY involved in helping the kids with the Junior Ranger packets. I’m sure some of that was because they had time right then, but you could also tell that the Rangers here really valued explaining the expedition to the kids. They even gave Teddy a junior junior ranger activity so that he could earn a badge as well. He was so excited.
While this stop was definitely more on my to-do list than anyone else’s, I think we all had a good time. The boys are always (usually? more on that in another post) excited to work on a Junior Ranger program, and I’m always pleasantly surprised when they bring up something they learned from a Junior Ranger program months later. Also! we bought a super precious early reader that tells the story of how Lewis and Clark named the prairie dog and how they shipped one back to President Jefferson. The boys read it at bedtime many nights on our trip.
For those interested: