The Hale Hijinks! 2013 travel blog

The KOA supplies a bus to visit Mt. Rushmore for the evening...

It's been a LONG time since I have ridden on a school...

Approaching the iconic site!

All of the states are represented by their flag.

This is a photo of the mountain before the sculpting began.

All retired, past and present military were invited down to the stage...

They stood at attention while the flag was lowered.

Where's Waldo?

The Park Ranger went through the whole group and had each person...

During the film playing on stage, lights slowly illuminated the famous site!...

Well, my goodness! It looks like they have added 2 more faces...

Mt. Rushmore is such a familiar icon in our country that it was quite exciting to visit in person. As we approached the site while on the bus, the faces came into view and became larger. It is amazing to finally understand just how grand and majestic this mountain sculpture really is!

Once we entered the walkway to the viewing area, we could see each state was represented by their flag. We toured the museum and watched a film detailing the inception of this vision, from the start of work through its' completion. Much of the sculpting was accomplished with explosives. They were strategically placed and detonated. The film captured the painstaking effort of Gutzon Borglum in bringing his vision to life.

Next, we entered the outdoor amphitheater which seats approximately 1,000 spectators. A Park Ranger acted as emcee as he gave a brief history of the monument and then announced the beginning of a film reel that followed the sculpting project. It was very informative and quite interesting to see the history of our country unfold as the work progressed from a mere vision to fruition.

At the end of the film, the Ranger invited all members of the military to come forward. As the audience applauded, retired, past and present military personnel joined the Ranger onstage. It was very emotional to hear the audience honor these people with their applause. I was especially proud of Doug as he announced his name and branch of service when called upon. As they stood at attention they saluted the flag as it was lowered.

Without noticing, dim lights aimed at the mountain gradually became brighter throughout the happenings onstage. At the end, the lights were at their brightest, illuminating the 4 presidents depicted there. The evening ended with the entire audience singing "The Star Spangled Banner". We came away feeling very patriotic and proud of our country!

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