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Giant Heads

October 21, 2011

Mount Rushmore South Dakota

There are few places as uniquely American as South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore. No U.S. road trip would be complete without a stop at the giant granite visages of these four historic presidents. Yet it is also one of those places that everyone has already seen in pictures, and pictures do it justice.

Visiting Mount Rushmore gave me the same feeling I had when first laying eyes on the Eiffel Tower or the Mona Lisa – Eh! Sure, carving 60-foot busts into the side of a mountain is impressive, but I had come to terms with that accomplishment a long time ago. Seeing it first hand didn’t really add anything for me.

What I did discover is that George Washington ranks first among equals. His giant noggin is seen virtually everywhere.

From inside caves . . .

and inside buildings. . .
Mount Rushmore George Washington Profile

On trails inside the park  . . .
Mount Rushmore George Washington

and on the roads outside the park. . .
Mount Rushmore George Washington 2

George Orwell Wasington is watching!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2011 9:27 am

    Great photos. Good memories.I stayed at the Beaver Lake Campground when I visited here, and took a daylong tour with two other people, a couple of old broads like me and we had a great time. Also loved your photos of Devil’s Tower. I’ve blogged about both places.

    • October 21, 2011 9:56 am

      Thanks Pat. We stayed in Rapid City (a bit too long). I thought we’d do a bunch of hiking through the Black Hills only I found that most of the stuff we wanted to do was behind Custer State Park’s “pay wall.” As we’re going to be camping directly in Custer, we didn’t want to pay entrance fees just for a day’s hike. More on that later.

  2. October 21, 2011 9:29 am

    Like you, while I am impressed by the work that went into sculpting this mountain with these faces, I am more amazed by natural shapes. I was saddened, for example, when I heard the Old Man in the Mountain in New Hampshire, a natural shape, broke off a year ago or so.

    • October 21, 2011 10:00 am

      Absolutely. As much as the carving of granite reflects high human accomplishment, there is something more fascinating about unspoiled natural beauty. Looking at the last two photos in this post, I find the unadulterated rock to be far more beautiful than the George Washington bust.

      • October 22, 2011 2:51 pm

        Your first photo of the four busts is the “famous” one that come to my mind. I have wondered what the facade looks like from other vantage points, which you also provided. I too thought that (in the last photo) the natural sculpture had more appeal.

      • October 22, 2011 3:01 pm

        Nature is pretty tough to improve upon. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  3. thesweetkitten permalink
    October 21, 2011 12:34 pm

    Great pictures!

  4. Grant permalink
    October 21, 2011 10:07 pm

    Picture #4 is great!

  5. October 22, 2011 1:22 am

    Thanks for reading my post! It seems you’re nearly in the same areas as me. Which direction are you headed? I really appreciate the insights you had from your top 7 post as well. It’s clear you put a lot of thought into your entries.

  6. Atari permalink
    October 26, 2011 12:35 am

    You didn’t happen to see James Mason’s house and airstrip on top of the mountain, did you? Maybe Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint climbing down Washington’s face?

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