May 30, 2022
Temperature 49 Degrees, Rain All Day
Mount Rushmore, Part One
Mount Rushmore was the main reason we made this trip. If we had to turn and head home at this point in time we would not be disappointed nor sad. The cold, the wind none of it mattered once we went here. We had achieved our main goal for this trip.
OK. Let me share with you a bit of what we saw and what we learned. I must say, though, that no photos from this armature photographer can every do this National Monument justice. The grandeur of this National Monument is absolutely spectacular. This is one of those attractions like The Badlands, The Grand Canyon, The Painted Desert that must be viewed in person. You just have to see it for yourself to really appreciate its true beauty. That being said I hope you enjoy.
One approaches the Memorial by walking down the Avenue of Flags. The Avenue of Flags was initially established as part of the celebration of the United States’ Bicentennial in 1976 at the request of a visitor.
We quickly found the flag for Florida.
From The Avenue of Flags we moved onto The Grand View Terrace.
There they were. Our first really good view of all four.
And there she is. Proof, that yes we had been here. And proof, too, that occasionally in these parts you can actually wear a T-shirt. Not often this time of year but on occasion it does happen.
So, how did these four Presidential figures come to be craved here on this mountain? Whose idea was it and why? Who was the man responsible for the cravings? How many worked on this memorial? How long did it take? How much did it cost? How much rock was removed? How was it removed? We had questions aplenty.
The man with the dream.
However, not all agreed with his dream.
Through perseverance and commitment of all involved the monument we see today finally came to be.
The man chosen to make Robinson’s dream a reality.
Now to find a place to bring the dream to life.
In 1925 Borglum selected this granite outcropping known as Mt. Rushmore for the site of the monument. I must admit I stood and stared long and hard at this picture finding it hard to believe that from this could come the Memorial we see today.
It is said that some 450,000 tons of rock were removed before the actual carving of the four figures could begin.
Why did Borglum decide on the four Presidents we see today?
Let’s take a closer look at the four Presidents now. But first a side note. One of the best ways to see all four figures up close is to take a walk along
The trail takes you to the base of the mountain where the views are absolutely breathtaking.
The trail is six tenths of a mile long but also has 422 steps!
Ms. Barbara making the final assault.
Victory! Bad knees and all she made it.
Back to the four Presidents. The first one we’ll talk about is President Jefferson.
Jefferson was originally supposed to be the first figure, to the left of Washington looking at the mountain. However, it was determined that there was insufficient rock for the figure. So, in 1934 the original face was destroyed and relocated. But, the carving of Jefferson in the new location revealed a major crack which resulted in Borglum shifting the position of the head.
Next is President Washington.
Now, President Roosevelt.
The carving of this president proved to be the most difficult. Seventy-five feet of overlaying rock was drilled and blasted away before suitable granite for carving was found.
Finally, President Lincoln.
In this carving Borglum gave special attention to the eyes. Concave depressions were carved so that the deep shadow gave the appearance of depth. The pupils were represented by a shaft of granite, about twenty inches long projecting from the socket with its front surface ground smooth to reflect the light
OK, for now we’re going to take a break. In the second part of this blog about Mt. Rushmore we’ll talk about how it was carved, the workers involved and other odds and ends. Till then.
Thanks again for spending some time with us. It’s always great to be able to share our story with family and friends. Comments? Feel free to share them with me. And always remember, cherish every moment of every day that God gives you and live those moments to the fullest.
Our continuing mission remains the same: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have not been before