Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mount Rushmore

Bob and I drove to South Dakota last week to visit Mount Rushmore.  This iconic national park represents the first 130 years of America's history through four faces carved in Granite.  Truly an engineering marvel, it's amazing to me that none of the 400 workers involved with this project during the 14 years of carving from 1927-1941, died.   
Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor was working on Stone Mountain in Georgia, when historian Doane Robinson came up with the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region to draw tourism to the area.  After several site and idea changes between the two men, it was Borglum who decided the sculpture should have a more national focus and he chose four presidents.  
Ranger Jerry guided us along the Presidential Trail and highlighted the history of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills.  Here are the Presidents in order and what Borglum considered to be their contribution to America's history:  
#1 George Washington was the Foundation
#3 Thomas Jefferson for Expansion
#26 Theodore Roosevelt for Development
#16 Abraham Lincoln for Preservation
Each face is 60' tall and each eye is 11' wide.  Washington's nose is 21' long and his mouth 18' wide; all other noses are 20' long.   90% of the work was done with dynamite and the drill was a jackhammer.
We caught a glimpse of the Lakota Chief Crazy Horse sculpture while we were in the Black Hills.  It is also an impressive piece of work.
September is great camping weather; cool days and even cooler nights.
However, it is unusual to wake and find a couple dozen wild turkeys on the lawn outside your tent.

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