Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mount Rushmore

We started our day with breakfast in Custer. I had planned on cooking, but we arrived so late that we didn't get to shop. We were also up late, so a morning out was in order. We found these buffalo statues all over the city and we took a picture with one.

We also found a guy dressed up in an old fashioned outfit after coffee, so Tia grabbed a picture with him. Custer is a small town, mainly catering to tourists, of which many seem to campout as there were tons of places to stay outside of town.

With a late start, we decided to do Mount Rushmore first. We drove over, parked and then walked in. A nice day, not too hot, not too cool, and a good crowd at the memorial.
There's a large facility outside of the mountain and walking in, you can see the faces in the distance. We stopped and took a few pictures before heading inside to the museum and learning a bit about the project.


It took 14 years to carve the mountain out. I had no idea it took so long, though I'm not sure I knew what would be a frame of reference. I've seen the picture a bunch of times, but I wasn't sure who was the fourth. I knew Washington , Jefferson, and Lincoln, but it was good to learn Teddy Roosevelt was the fourth, and why.

All in all, good choices for representing the country. It was also neat to see why the four were chosen. Washington, for leading us in the beginning of the country. Jefferson for his architecture of the early nation (Declaration, Constitution and Lousiana Purchase). Lincoln, of course, for holding the nation together in the Civil War.

We also saw the model the sculptor used, and how they transferred the measurements up to the mountain. Kind of amazing, and certainly a tough job. It was supposed to show more of their bodies, but in 1941, with war coming and money running out, the artist died. His son took over, and they might have done more, but money let them stop and declare if finished that year, and it's been left that way.

A piece of American history, one more knocked off the list.


On the way back, we stopped at a lake and walked around a bit. A beautiful afternoon, and a good chance to relax.

Not a hugely busy day, but a good one to unwind from life and move at a slow vacation pace. We enjoyed the afternoon, laughing with each other as we walked around.

We ended up shopping on the way back to the trailer and cooking out, having a nice quiet evening on our first day in South Dakota.

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