Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mount Rushmore

No doubt we have all seen photos of this unusual monument to four American Presidents and maybe some of us have seen North by North West, so when you are in the area, you have to go and see it.

The monument is about 20 miles from Rapid City SD.

It costs $11 to park but otherwise entry is free.

To get to Mount Rushmore we passed through Keystone.

It has to be one of the tackiest tourist towns in the USA and that is saying something.

Suddenly as you drive along, there is the monument.

Ok we could have said 'We've seen it' and driven on but we went for the full experience.

Pine woods line the path to the monument.

The bloke who designed and built it. He was quite a character and it is worth reading about him.

Eventually you get to the main viewing platform and there it is. The stones (scree) below the faces comes from the material that was blasted for cut away from the mountain.

Washington, Jefferson, T Rooseveldt and Lincoln.

Amphitheater below the main viewing platform.

The scree. Over 90% of the material was blasted.

Washington's eye and nose.

Some of the detail which is not visible to the naked eye.

To make the experience more than just gazing at the faces, we did the Presidential Trail walk.

It's very pleasant walking alongside the pine trees. It was about 65 degrees with low humidity. Perfect.

The faces appear occasionally as you walk through the pine woods.

At the bottom of the pile of scree.

Of course I am sure they have laws against something like this.

There are quite a few steps and they are made out of the Trex like composite boards.

Looking back at the visitors center.

Trees growing out of the rock.

The ffaces keep appearing every now and then.

More about this engine below.

One of the winches that lowered the workers down to the faces. Miraculously, nobody was killed. 

The models.

Photos of the construction.

An old viewing point that is not much used anymore.

I suppose you would used to sitting in one of these suspended way up in the air.

Many of us have seen North by North West where the climax is set at Mount Rushmore. You can read more about it here.

The cafeteria where Cary Grant is supposedly shot by Eve Marie Saint was replaced by the Visitors Center where is final photo was taken from. I suggested to one of the attendants at the desk that the Park Service should create some exhibit about the scenes shot at the monument.

The monument is really worth visiting.

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