Saturday, July 4, 2015

What Is Your Favorite 4th of July Memory?

Happy Independence Day! The 4th of July is such a great celebration for family and friends to get together!





We have such great memories of spending the 4th with family at our acreage! There was always enough food to feed the masses, new cocktails, and everyone spending their hard earned money on fireworks to light up the sky! Everyone had their favorites - sparklers, "chicken" fireworks, firecrackers, and of course the large displays that make you go ooh and aah! From our deck, we could also see fireworks from Sioux Falls and many small towns around us. So many little kids and big kids having fun together! What a great family tradition! I always felt so blessed at those gatherings! This special day was one of the things that made leaving our acreage so difficult! Of course we sold it when we went on the road full-time but we will always have these great memories with us.

This is what the 4th is all about! Young and old bonding time!

Being a workamper now, the 4th of July is a whole different kind of experience. It usually means working long hours and a very busy time at the campgrounds! But it is still filled with celebrations and families - just not my family! It is fun to see families gathered together and celebrating with food and drink the way we always did! We have witnessed amazing traditions in several different areas of the country. The first year we were in Estes Park and went to the YMCA of the Rockies for their festivities. It was a beautiful, relaxing day that was very patriotic - lots of kids, horses, parades, music and fun! Another year we worked in Nebraska by our kids so we spent the evening on their rooftop watching fireworks! In Kanab, Utah we were working at a hotel but they did let us stop and watch the parade for a while! This year we are again working but with all the families and activities around it is sure to be a busy, fun, beautiful weekend - but I will miss spending time with family and all the oohs and aahs of the day!

Parade in Kanab, Utah

Probably my favorite memory is one from quite a while ago when my family all stayed in Custer State Park over the 4th of July. If you have never been there, Custer State Park is in western South Dakota and is such a beautiful experience! There are amazing scenic drives, mountains, buffalo, history, and trails to explore! It is a must see when you are in the Black Hills! We always have a family camp out each year to spend some quality time together and this particular year we stayed in cabins near Legion Lake. We arrived on July 3rd and have always wanted to see the dramatic fireworks at Mount Rushmore. A niece and nephew arrived about the same time so they decided to go with us and we headed out to find the perfect spot to watch the fireworks. Parking right at Mount Rushmore is nearly impossible unless you arrive early in the morning but they do allow you to safely park along the roads. So about 5 p.m. we found a spot we thought would be a good view of the fireworks, which would begin at dusk - about 9:30.  The spot we picked out meant we would be sitting on a few boulders several miles from Mount Rushmore but we had a great view of the faces. Somewhere about the first hour or so our nephew realized that we were just going to be sitting on that rock for 5 hours waiting! "Do we have enough beer?" was his question! Of course we did and a few snacks. We had such a great time chatting and bonding with them and our kids! Then when the time did come for the fireworks it was spectacular and even more beautiful than we could have imagined! They went off behind the faces and were huge! The fireworks lit up the presidents faces and all were smiling! A great patriotic place to celebrate! By the time all the sparkle was gone from the sky, we were all pretty tired but even my nephew had to admit it was worth the wait!

Image: Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Photo from NBC News

I don't believe they have had fireworks at Mount Rushmore for several years because of the fire danger but there are many other great patriotic locations to celebrate!What is your favorite memory of your 4th of July Celebrations? If you are a workamper, how has it changed since you have been on the road traveling? God Bless America!