While in Rapid City, we spent a day visiting Mount Rushmore. Within that single day, we were blessed with clouds, rain, hail, and sunshine. It felt just like being at home in Chicago.
Mount Rushmore is a patriotic site that features the 60 foot faces of four of America’s notable presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. It was built between 1927 and 1941, using dynamite, jackhammers, and chisels to sculpt the monument.
We were fortunate enough to witness a special performance by Native Americans from the local Lakota Tribe. They were dressed in traditional clothing, and performed several songs and dances. Before each dance, they explained the meaning of their clothing and movements, making it a meaningful experience.
Nick Clifford, a former Mount Rushmore driller and winchman, was on site to sign copies of his book, Mount Rushmore, Q & A.
At the Visitor Center we watched the movie, a very interesting look at how the memorial was carved. It was an extremely dangerous job, and there were a number of workers that fell to their death.
Once the rain cleared, we took the half mile Presidential Trail to get a closer look at the Presidents. I highly recommend taking this short trail. It gave a really unique perspective of the memorial. There was a Sculptor’s Studio near the end of the trail, with a scale model on display.
The boys received their Junior Ranger badges. We all learned a wealth of information from the booklet. I think mom and dad deserved a badge that day, too. That was one tough Junior Ranger book!
We also enjoyed identifying each state’s flag along the walkway. Each stone displayed the year of the state’s admittance into the Union:
Our entrance fee to Mount Rushmore was covered by our National Parks Pass, however, there was an additional fee for parking.
For more information, visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial.