The Squished Penny

We made it all the way to Billings, Montana on day #1, so today we did less driving and more stopping. Good thing since the constant carseat action is starting to give Ikaika some radical heat rash!

We are currently camped in a motel across the street from Wall Drug in South Dakota.

We went to the battlefield at Little Big Horn (more on that later), Deadwood, and Mount Rushmore - a very appropriate Independance Day. During the driving parts we had lively discussions on everything from private vs. public schools to American Indian relocation issues. Mo and I sang all the summer camp and/or patriotic songs we could remember. Dad delighted us with educational factoids about the places we were passing (without narraration a large majority of the drive just looks like land...lots and lots of land).

Its amazing how little this drive has changed since we did it as a family 20 years ago. Even the entertainment in the car is the same - hour after hour of A Prairie Home Companion!!! I have to admit that I wish I had refreshed my memory with relevant movie viewing before leaving Hawaii (Thunderheart, Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicans, etc). Luckily, between Dad, Mom, Mo, and the visitors center du jour there is plenty of information to go around.

I've started collecting squished pennies. Its 51 cents to make a little metal stamping of whatever place you are visiting. I thought it would be nice to start collecting something from the places Ikaika goes and when hes older he can either continue to collect it or at least he will have something that shows the places hes been. Even if he thinks its "lame" when hes older, its something for him to look forward to, something to hunt for when we travel, and in my experience the "lamest" things are the ones you remember most fondly. The squished pennies are available in a lot of locations (including the Waikoloa shoping center!), they are small, and they dont require any kind of knick knack shelf. Perfection. Im now a big fan.

Mo and I had a blast today tracking down the penny squishing machine everywhere we went and I cant wait to find one in Wall Drug tomorrow. That, and get a picture of the baby riding a jackalope. I think after that, my life will truly be complete.

I heart the Big Sky Country.

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