Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mt. Rushmore

I had originally planned to go to the Wind Cave National Park in the morning and Mt. Rushmore later, and then see the Badlands on the way to MN the next day.But, we decided that trying to see the Bandlands and driving 8-hours was too much for one day. Our new plan was to see Mt. Rushmore, and then stop at a smaller cave on the way to the Badlands.

The Black Hills were the biggest surprise for me. I had imagined them being bare and black, but they were rugged and covered with Ponderosa Pines. The area is like an oasis between the dry range lands of eastern Wyoming and the Badlands.

Mt. Rushmore was also much nicer than I had pictured. They’ve built a promenade and a Presidential Trail, which offers a variety of closer views. The kids both said that this was something they had wanted to do all of their lives…Hunh, me too I guess. What I thought was most interesting was how the mountain it was carved out of was brown, unlike the white faces underneath. The ranger said that the sculpture was pressure-washed last year.

This visit was more meaningful to us after we’d been listening to the “Don’t Know Much About History,” book on tape about American history. We’re were up to the part about Vietnam when we reached Mt. Rushmore, so we’ve been refreshed on these biggies.

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