The Black Hills and the distant Mount Rushmore
As a child, my family would sometimes take travel vacations, heading to unique locations throughout the country. One of my personal favorites was Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located in the Black Hills in South Dakota. The trip to Mount Rushmore was a memorable experience that took my breath away. It was a beautiful day as we traveled through the Black Hills, spiraling around the various mounts. There were towering trees all around, almost covering the whole landscape. The road escalated up the hills, giving us an opportunity to appreciate the splendor surrounding the area. From the hilltops, to the bright blue sky, to the countless trees, my family saw true beauty on the earth. Then, through the hilltops and the trees, the faces on Mount Rushmore began to appear. Eventually, we were able to see the four faces of the presidents carved into the stone and, soon after, entered the memorial. Once inside, my family had the chance to eat, shop, and appreciate the view of the carved hill. It was an unforgettable experience.
Creating Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a place with a rich history. Due to the proposal of various bills, the hill was not carved until the 1920s. The National Park Service wrote that on August 10, 1927, the memorial was dedicated and funding was granted. This started what became fourteen years of construction. Throughout the construction, over 400 men and women were hired for a wide variety of positions. Also, dynamite was used for some of these stations. In fact, 90% of Mount Rushmore was created and carved using this tool. After fourteen years of harsh working conditions and a large use of dynamite, the monument was finished. On October 31, 1941, Mount Rushmore National Memorial was officially completed Four presidents were carved into the rock: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. They each made a significant contribution to the county. Jefferson, for example, doubled the country’s size when he purchased the Louisiana Purchase. http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm
Although there is such a significant history, there is more than meets the eye to this place. At many favorite travel spots around the world there are usually legends. This applies even to Mount Rushmore. One website even specifically lists legends in and around the Black Hills area. For example, one of the most famous legends surrounding Mount Rushmore is about a secret chamber that holds copies of important United States documents. However, though this legend is claimed to be true, the public is not allowed to see this ‘secret chamber’. This is only one out of a list of famous legends in the area.
In the Mount Rushmore area, travelers are given the chance to have a memorable experience. They can see wildlife around the memorial, from multitudes of trees to the unique birds flying around. Not only is the beauty breathtaking, but travelers can also participate in different activities. Tourists can take a tour of the memorial, or even rock climb around the area. Also, in the surrounding area there are other caves and parks, such as the Wind Cave National Park, within a two hour radius of Mount Rushmore that travelers may visit. When my family visited the park, though, there was much to do. Between appreciating the sights and visiting not only Mount Rushmore, but some of the surrounding parks, we were rarely, if ever, bored.
Seeing Mount Rushmore was a unique opportunity. It gave my family a new insight into our nation’s history and gave us the chance to understand four of our country’s greatest leaders. Along with learning the history and hearing legends, we went sight-seeing. Mount Rushmore National Park was, and is still to this day, one of my favorite travel locations.