What do ya do when you just can’t be random?
What do ya do when you hate to leave things unfinished?
What do ya do…you pull out the old vacation file and spend some time in Mount Rushmore!
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water……another vacation post!
A long time ago
actually about two months in a land far far away on the road from Bozeman to South Dakota a family went on vacation….
We drove most of the day and arrived in South Dakota just before supper time. Our trip ticket was timed perfectly and we were able to check in to the hotel and get a quick bite of dinner and then head into the park for the nightly show.
We had been advise by a good friend that the evening show was not to be missed. After having the experience I can state with all honesty that my friend was absolutely correct.
If you want to boost your emotional quotient for American Pride then I highly recommend a visit to Mount Rushmore.
If you are heading up to the carving then please don’t miss the evening show, it is inspiring!
They show an awesome film about the process of how the carving came into being as well as focus on the four presidents that grace the mountain side. At the end of the program the carving is light and the faces are highlighted against the night sky.
It is impressive, to fall back on a familiar adjective.
The emotional scales tip as the Park Range calls down all military personal in attendance, either retired or still on active duty to come forward and stand on the stage. As they begin to filter down the patriotic pride hovers thick over the crowd and it begins to fill you up and then it just spills out. Leave it to the DD to put things into perspective. She looks across at me dabbing the tears from my cheeks.
She then announces “Seriously mom! SERIOUSLY!”
Leave it to the teenager…and yes there was eye rolling!
We live in a great country and as you stand and watch the flag being retired for the evening you suddenly feel like there is no where else you would rather be than right where you are.
Patriotism is alive and well, and there is no better example than Mount Rushmore!
A few facts about the carving.
- The four presidents carved in the mountain are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. These men were chosen to represent the first 150 years of American history and America’s cultural heritage.
- Thomas Jefferson was originally started on George Washington's right. However, after 18 months they realized that it was not working. Jefferson's face was dynamited off and carved on the other side.
- It took 14 years to complete Mount Rushmore.
- The sculpture cost $989,992.32 to build.
- There is a cave behind the carving called the "Hall of Records." It was intended to house the story of Mount Rushmore but was never completed due to lack of funding.
- Gutzon Borglum was 60 years old when he began working on the monument.
- Rushmore's granite faces tower over 5,500 feet above sea level.
- The carvings are scaled to men who would stand 465 feet tall.
- Each President's head is as tall as a six-story building.
- Over 800 million pounds of stone was removed from Mount Rushmore during the construction.
- Imagine climbing 506 steps to reach the top of Mount Rushmore-this was how many steps the workers had to climb each day!
- The president's noses are 20 feet long, their mouths 18 feet wide, and their eyes are 11 feet across!
- Did you know that Gutzon Borglum was a student of renowned French artist Auguste Rodin, and was one of America's most successful artists before even considering Mount Rushmore? His Mares of Diomedes was the first American work purchased by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also has 5 statues on display at the U.S. Capitol Building.
- an estimated 1/10 of an inch of erosion occurs every 1000 years and this was taken into account as the carving was being designed.
- Here is an astonishing fact: no deaths occurred during the whole period of carving, just a few minor injuries.
This was what the original sculpture was supposed to look like upon completion.
Before hitting the road the next morning we returned to the park for a few additional hours. We spend a wonderful Moring exploring the grounds.
We enjoyed a brief visit from a mountain goat as we drove back into the park and I shopped for the mandatory coffee mug and Christmas tree ornament.
Abe, somehow Abie just doesn't work does it!
Well all I can say for now is God Bless America!
It was a wonderful evening and an enjoyable morning, if you discount the 200 plus steep step up to the viewing platform below the carving. We defiantly got in our cardio.
Well there is only one vacation post left.
du du du du dududududu when you least expect up will be The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.
Here are links to my other vacation post’s if you just need to kill about an hour or if your fighting a sever bout of insomnia!