Because it was November 8, and this was by far the most absurd election year ever (listen to the deconstruction here), I spent the night after Badlands National Park glued to the TV in a crappy hotel in Rapid City, SD. Around 10pm, when it was announced our new president was a billionaire businessman from New York, I shut off the TV and stared at a black screen.
Fitting, it was, that the next day brought my trip to see Mount Rushmore. Four of the greatest presidents our nation has ever had. Something that not many people from either coast ever get to see in person, and plus I was a 20 minute drive from it, and when would I ever be in South Dakota again? Off I went.
Getting there at 8am is certainly the way to go. No crowds, barely any people, and the light was pretty amazing.
There isn’t really too much to take a look at, but there is a short walk around the whole mountain. It allows you to view the monument from several different angles, and also to take in the foliage. I will say, East Coast, you win hands down in the Sunrise category.
When South Dakota says “Big faces,” they really do mean big. BIG faces. Though I half expected Team America to come flying out of the rocks. I might have been humming the song the entire walk.
There’s a lot to take in, but you don’t need more than an hour, even if you stop to think about all the work that went into the carving, and all the great things those presidents did during their time in office. When you do contemplate, just be sure there isn’t some mischievous imp behind you taking pictures.