Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 18, 2009 Mt. Rushmore

Carol finally was able to realize a childhood dream up close and personal - going to Mt. Rushmore. It also amazed me because I was, once again, awed by another demonstration of how far man can go when he really sets his mind to it. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to have another guest at the park take our photo in front of the sculpture, as in pic 1. When seen from afar or close up, it always deeply impresses. We saw the sculpture in the late morning and were advised by friends to see the same thing in the evening because the National Park Service lights it up. We were also advised of an interesting café in Custer, SD that had great buffalo stew and pies so that is where we headed next for a late lunch. The place is The Purple Pie Place. They were out of the stew but the BBQ sandwiches were great and the pie only a half step behind Cindy B's that we spoke of earlier in Aladdin, WY. A half step behind Cindy B's makes it 20 steps above most other cafés. The road from Mt. Rushmore to Custer has some more of God's great creations - sculptures that defy description. In pix 4 and 5, we see the needles and bluffs that help make the Black Hills so inspiring to so many. (this is a reminder to us that we will take the Needles Highway route soon) When we left Custer heading home, our campground where our Montana is parked, we passed the Crazy Horse monument. We could see it from US-16 and, even though we could only see the head, it is obvious how gigantic this is (see pic 6). We will visit it in the next few days. How great this entire trip is - not having to be anywhere at a specific time or date so we can take our time. We may stay a day or a couple of weeks or so whenever we wish. We are going to be in the Mt. Rushmore area for at least two weeks but, since we are in the Black Hills with all of its natural attractions, this may be extended. We will probably go to The Badlands next. We returned to Mt. Rushmore in the evening for the "light show." On the way, we passed one of Carol's favorite bridges in the area. It is a combination of steel and wood and covers an interchange for US-16 and the Mt. Rushmore exit (pic 7). At Mt. Rushmore, there is a Presidential Trail that is .5 mile and leads to the base of the sculpture. It has many steps and climbs and descents but is beautiful. There are places for each of the Presidents that describes a little of the individual president and gives a direct sight line to the base of that president. Pic 8 is Abraham Lincoln, pic 9 George Washington, pic 10 Thomas Jefferson and pic 11 Teddy Roosevelt (how can anyone think of him as Theodore after seeing his image on San Juan Hill et al and identified as Teddy?) While the darkness was setting in, we were entertained by a group of high school seniors playing some sort of percussion instruments that they would each shake with different notes and sounded like marimbas. How great this was seeing Mt. Rushmore, which was a tribute to originators and protectors of the origins of our great nation and constitution above us and these fine young people who will keep it all moving forward. Carol and I thank God every day for allowing us to observe and sometimes take part in all of this living history. The lights bring depth to the sculptures, changing constantly as the ambient night sky darkens. The flags seen in pic 14 are of each state and the pillars are depicting when the state entered The Union (pix 13, 14).


Ron and Thelma said...

Isn't that the greatest. When we were there a couple of years ago we were awestruck with Mt Rushmore. Have a great trip. Following you every day.

Jim and Carol said...

God Bless you, Ron and Thelma. Won't be long before you are heading in this direction.