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Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore

Left the Rondee RV Park in Mitchell SD this morning and reached the Broken Arrow Campground a bit after noon. The campground is actually a horse camp and is located a few miles south of Custer SD. My trailer is close to horse stalls so there are horse noises and smells. The noises are not a problem. Neither are the smells, as long as I don’t step in them. The rules prohibit horse riding in the camp and also require the owners to clean up any manure. Sometimes I like rules.

The campground is hosting a cookout for everyone tonight, at no (additional) charge. I always like free. 🙂

After setting up camp I headed to Mount Rushmore for some sightseeing. I was here in 2007 with my brother Mike. We rode our motorcycles from Fernley NV for the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis SD. Back then there were more people (from the rally) and a band playing Native American music. This time there was construction and temporary walkways. Not very scenic, but once you got to the monument, that stuff faded into the background.

After the constructions barricades, and crowds, the main thing you notice are sculptures of four former presidents.

The loose rocks underneath George, Tom, Ted, and Abe must be the parts that Gutzon thought did not look like George, Tom, Ted, or Abe. The photos above and immediately below were taken from the observation deck in front of the sculptures.

The photo below was taken after a short walk off the beaten path on the walkway leading to and from the observation area. A sign indicated the area was reserved for 1st Amendment expression, but there was no one exercising their 1st Amendment rights on this day.

After leaving the parking garage and heading back to the campground, there is a scenic turnout that provides a different perspective of just one president.

Here’s a close up of George.

Rocks the size of Mount Rushmore are seldom (never?) without multiple fractures or breaks in the continuity of the stone. I can’t imagine the work that went into selecting just the right areas to start chipping away to form the sculptures. No wonder it took from 1927 to 1941 to complete the monument. There is as much science as art on display here.

Until next time…

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