Copyright 2012, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
We visited Mount Rushmore on July 3, 2011, the day they celebrated our nation's Independence Day. We had no idea they would be celebrating, we figured (ok, assumed) that they would celebrate on the 4th. Nope.
We took yet one more byway that we had not driven, and yes indeedy, there was one more tunnel, this one was marked on our map as being 11 foot 4 inches, and on the road sign, 10 foot 6 inches. And, here it is, no drama, no worries, just drive right on through:
The first time we tried to visit Mount Rushmore there were torrential downpours, buckets of rain. Today, however is beautiful weather, sun, pleasant temperatures.
We rented the audio tours and walked the entire park, learning and appreciating as we visited. This first photo is taken from the entrance and showing the tops of the flags along the Avenue of Flags.
The Presidential Trail gives you many different viewing opportunities, each just a bit different. There is signage along the way about the Presidents and the processes that were required to carve the sculptures. There is also the opportunity to visit the sculptor's studio. We even snagged t-shirts that say, "Mount Rushmore, 4th of July", for $5.00 each. At the amphitheater there was entertainment and we got to experience a "flyover" by the South Dakota National Guard. On July 4, 2011 I did a collage featuring the flyover and Mount Rushmore.
Close up (thanks to Sony's zoom) of the 4 featured Presidents of Mount Rushmore:
George Washington, President from 1789-1797:
Thomas Jefferson, President from 1801-1809:
Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, President 1901-1909:
Abraham Lincoln, President 1861-1865:
Our visit to Mount Rushmore was more special than we could have imagined when we left the campground that day. I mean, really, is there anything more American than celebrating the 4th at Mount Rushmore??
A Fourth of July Man and I will never forget.
* Some facts thanks to the publication "Granite Journal", from the National Park Service:
Four hundred men and women worked here to create Mount Rushmore. Carvers had to climb 700 stairs each morning to get to work. 90% of the mountain was carved with the use of dynamite. Carving of the mountain stopped in 1941 after the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, died and World War II was looming. Maintenance is ongoing, every year rope teams rappel over the faces providing preservation repairs.