Larry & Cheryl's 2013 Travels travel blog

Passing by the speedway

Coming around the mountain

Some of the Needles

National Monument

Getting close to Mt. Rushmore

Our first look

Through the archway

Past the state flags

Rushmore - awesome

Presidential Trail around the mountain

George Washington

George Washington's stats

Washington

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson's stats

Jefferson

Jefferson & Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt's stats

Roosevelt

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's stats

Lincoln

Close up of Abe's eye

The creator

Walking around the mountain trail on Mt. Rushmore

A very animated storyteller

This helped the workers be able to sculpt

Lincoln's Mask next to his face

Ingersoll Rand compressors

Needs more power

Planning & measuring

Blasting, carving & finishing

Another close up of Washington

Wavey hair on his beard

Look to the right of Abe (right side of photo) who could...

Why, it's ET next to Abe

Needles

Goodbye George

The back side of the carvings

Very small tunnels

And very narrow, our dually truck barely fit

Back at the Elks we had a wild parakeet, pretty boy


Today’s adventure was to Mt Rushmore. After parking and heading up to the monument it began to sprinkle. We ducked into the gift shop for a bit and then braved the light rain which subsided finally.

It was cloudy off and on as we were walking the trail around the monument. We came across a museum building with a Ranger telling a very animated story of the artist and the sculpting of the faces. There were scale models of everything and the equipment used to create the faces. It was very interesting, well worth the walk.

A little trivia: The figure of Thomas Jefferson was originally started on Washington's right side. After 18 months of carving the figure of Jefferson had to be blasted off the mountain and restarted on Washington's left side. Also the governor of South Dakota was the person responsible for this immense project. He wanted a tourist attraction for his state. And boy, was he spot on with that idea.

You can read more here about Mt. Rushmore, and the artist Gutzon Borglum. Borglum was the artist that started the carving on STONE MOUNTAIN, GEORGIA but was fired from the job. Not a problem for him, because he went directly to South Dakota and started on these iconic sculptures.

It began raining more when we wanted to drive Needles Highway, so between the loss of sunlight and the raindrops on the windshield, we decided to head home and do this another day. We found a great deli for lunch at Jimmy Johns and later went in the Elks Lodge for drinks.

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