Day 18

Exciting news, we were so impressive yesterday with our snazzy dance moves in Custer park that we made the Custer news…check it out on this website

This morning we were able to sleep in at the Ponderosa campground until 6:45, when we were woken up by the most feared (and baby-faced) cowboy in the land: Evan Hiatt and his water guns. We loaded up into the buses to head towards Custer, South Dakota. Our cooks stayed up until the early hours of the morning baking everyone fresh donuts and picking Clementines from the Wyoming trees. Even though we slept in late, most of us took advantage of the time to sleep on the bus after breakfast.

We were awoken on the bus to stop at Shell Falls in the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming. The stop was quick, but we saw a mini Niagara Falls. Some of us stood in the long lines for the bathroom (but what’s new?), while the others took the risk of holding it and enjoying the view.

Laura, Brylee, Sam and Maddi

Aulden, Matthew, Parker, Darieon, Olivia, Jacqueline, Zack, Nyah and Kyndall

Mckenzie, Samantha, Carolyn and Laura 

Kathryn and Sam taking a morning snooze

After the falls we rode through mountains and countryside (aka a long road with nothing to look at, except the occasional spotting of civilization). The cooks were able to serve another 5-star meal on the road, pizza wraps with pepperoni this time!! To help pass the time on the long, long, LONG ride, Grant “entertained” us all with his witty “Would You Rather” questions. Questions he asked were, “would you rather smell like a fart for the rest of your life or eat diarrhea milkshake?” and “would you rather be a giant hamster or a tiny rhino?” He also tortured the whole bus by talking in detail about Cookout and Bojangles from back home. This was after he held Evan’s Cheerwine hostage. At our Walmart stop Grant Googled a picture of Cheerwine and sent it to Evan, making him run inside like a little boy only to find NO CHEERWINE in Wyoming.  Meanwhile, the girls were standing outside of Walmart drooling over three little German Sheppard puppies, wondering how we could bring one back home. The cooks were busy buying for our next adventure.

We arrived at Custer Park in the late afternoon to prepare for our next competition and to eat delicious chicken sandwiches with popcorn (only some were burnt and others were frozen). Our next competition will be a rigorous dance off between the groups to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. After repeating the song again, and again, and AGAIN we couldn’t get it out of our heads. Here’s some sneak peaks…we saw dirty dancing moves, tumbling, kick lines, jazz squares, human pyramids, and soul trains…. stay tuned everyone! During our intense rehearsals, a man from the local newspaper showed his interest in our tacky moves. He took pictures in the middle of our practice and interviewed Grant about TWB (again, check that out!).

Also at the park, Zack Merritt gave his research on South Dakota, which he pronounced “Dakata.” Mikayla Rose talked about Custer, South Dakota and elaborated on how small the town is. Kyndall High discussed the Cody, Wyoming rodeos and how they’re a hit around the world. Daireon Duff talked about Yellowstone (he was a little behind, bless). Elizabeth Efird gave her research on Cody, Wyoming in a nutshell from her three long pages of notes. Later on, a representative from the Custer YMCA, which we stayed at, showed up to talk about the history of the building. Did you know that the current floors in the unique log cabin style YMCA are the originals from 90 years ago? Also, Calvin Coolidge’s wife was a part of the group that founded the building. Josh Feemster and Nyah Townsend related to the rep because they too work at a YMCA back home.

Megan Farris

Kyndall High

Elizabeth Efird

Darieon Duff

Mikayla Rose

Zack Merritt

We love the BISON in Custer!!!

Dan and Ross enjoying their chicken sandwiches

Cooks hard at work!

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Mitchell making a happy plate!

Full bellies and ready for Mount Rushmore

What a beautiful day to eat outside!

Mikayla, Olivia and Jennings 

Evin Flinchum is that good?

Trey Armstrong and Laura Hayes 

Sally Kate and Erin 

Parker and Reid


Jacqueline Garcia is all smiles for that chicken sandwich

At 5:45 (no later than or V will attack) we headed out to see Mount Rushmore. When we arrived, Josh Feemster gave his research on the monument. Not only were his facts on point, but he also wore his Mount Rushmore socks.  We all felt proud to be American standing in front of past presidents faces. The majority of us made our way to their ice cream shop before the illumination ceremony. There was an avalanche ice cream and it was so big that it would probably take all 82 of us to eat. The rest of us who didn’t want to get sick from too much ice cream went to the gift shop to buy presents for all of you at home!

Josh Feemster ready to present his research (with Mount Rushmore socks) 


After a little shopping, we made our way to the amphitheater to see lights upon the carved faces, and a “short” video on the presidents. The faces were like we thought they would be, but just a little smaller.


Afterwards, we loaded back up to end the night at the YMCA. The bus ride enjoyed an American sing-a-long on the way back where they had “Proud to be an American” on repeat. Meanwhile, the vans took advantage of the 20-minute ride for more sleep.

At our nightly meeting with the V, she continued to tell us we couldn’t shower unless we wanted to die of hypothermia (therefore, we stink). We all laid our heads down and went right to sleep! What an exciting day we’ve had!  We’re thrilled for day 19…Colorado here we come!

Love, Happy’s J