My parents and I always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore. Honestly, I was mostly intrigued by the idea of four men’s faces being blasted into the side of a mountain. I see it as the next step Americans would take after doing the normal statue-of-men thing. So, I went into the experience pretty skeptical as to if I would enjoy it.
And, truth be told, I actually enjoyed the monument a lot. It has a gravitas and really doesn’t come off as imposing or overbearing the way a statue of Lenin in the U.S.S.R. might. You can view the monument from a viewing platform and also walk along it’s base via the Presidential Trail.
Additionally, the area around Mt. Rushmore, especially Custer State Park, is very scenic so we also took the opportunity to visit Devil’s Tower in Wyoming (made famous by the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind“) and Badlands National Park. Living in the densely populated East Coast, you forget how vast parts of the United States are.
We stayed in Rapid City which was only about 30 minutes from Mt. Rushmore. The town was small, but the downtown area was pretty quaint. People were very friendly, too, which is a nice change.
A few pictures are below and more can be found on Flickr.