Midwest trip: June 21, Day 3

Seeing Mount Rushmore was truly unbelievable. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to see the Statue of Liberty sometime, for I’m sure it would also evote strong emotion and pride in our country. The fact that 40 people spent 14 years carving a mountain of granite and used dynamite 90% of the time to do it – so that our country’s leading presidents could be honored – is both fascinating and humbling.

Our first glimpse of Mt. Rushmore 

Our first glimpse of Mt. Rushmore

Mount Rushmore has gotten a lot of attention in our house recently through media exposure. Between the “National Treasure” movies and a cartoon show Jordan likes called “Ben 10”, the kids have seen it quite a bit and seeing it was a real treat.

It would have been fun to climb the stairs at the base of it but Jordan was surely not up for that. Disabilities affect every part of our days. We were able to enjoy a couple of movies/documentaries while visiting the Gutzon Borglum Museum and the kids earned their Jr. Ranger awards!

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

The Memorial as seen over the Avenue of Flags

The Memorial as seen over the Avenue of Flags

Mount Rushmore National Memorial entrance

Mount Rushmore National Memorial entrance

Did You Know?
Did you know that the figure of Thomas Jefferson was started on Washington’s right? After 18 months of carving, the figure of Jefferson had to be dynamited off the mountain and restarted on the left of Washington.

Also, the original sculpture plan included doing busts on each of the presidents, however when it came time to sculpt Washington’s jacket buttons they found a different kind of rock that proved to be unsculptable!

This year's Christmas card?

This year's Christmas card?

Just before leaving the Memorial, we stopped by the gift shop and did the first of our ‘penny impressions’. We collected 11 before our journey was completed!

Once we were finished at Mt Rushmore we headed east to the infamous Wall Drug where we had lunch and wandered through the “whole bunch of nothing” that is Wall Drug. (see pics on Flickr – soon) The signs along the way really are about all there is to see… But I loved Bekah’s very concerned comment when we entered Wall Drug: “Mom, they don’t like animals here…” Guess she’s not used to animals’ heads mounted on walls!!

Following Wall Drug, we went back the way we came and then some to the town of Deadwood. Memorable things about this city? It has been restored to it’s glory of yesterday due to the large profits that are turned from all the gambling that is legal there. It may be its old glory, but it wasn’t our favorite place since smoking was allowed everywhere! Also, to take the kids to the restroom at the Harley-Davidson store you have to go through the casino, the bar, and through the gambling lounge complete with cashier – and bars on the windows. Interesting indeed!

In our quest to find a place to eat a “family dinner”, we did stumble upon the No. 10 Saloon and got to see a re-enactment of the story of Wild Bill – though we never did get to order dinner. The story was fascinating, portrayed by J.T. Rockwell and several audience participants. (He later encouraged us to rent the HBO series “Deadwood”, in which he had a role.) It was in that very saloon that Wild Bill was shot. Hmph! Who knew?!

The kids with "Wild Bill" in Deadwood, SD

The kids with "Wild Bill" in Deadwood, SD

There was so much more we’d hoped to see while in SD: Bear Country, gardens around the “Rapid”, and Presidential statues on the street corners of downtown Rapid. It was memorable to enter into Rapid City at night. Very similar to dropping down into the San Fernando Valley in CA where, after being in nothingness for miles, suddenly you come upon a valley filled with lights. I was not expecting that in the middle of no where; I mean South Dakota!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jannette Lyon
    Jul 14, 2008 @ 00:37:11

    I was alerted to your post about JT Rockwell in Deadwood because I have been keeping close tabs on what he’s up to. You see, the man is a fraud. I read what you wrote about God and truth and how the truth shall set you free, and I wholeheartedly believe in that. I started a blog about this man after he ripped my life apart with his lies and reprehensible behavior. He was never in the HBO series Deadwood, despite what he said. He worked behind the scenes in the show for one season before he was fired because of his behind the scenes shenanigans. Pray for this man. He is truly a lost soul.

    Reply

  2. Pat Ellingson
    Jul 14, 2008 @ 04:01:41

    My husband wants to go to Dead Wood, SD for our vacation in Sept. He remembers the “OLD” slot machines and wants to win “BIG”. His words. I will allow him $50, hope he gets the hang of his machine by then…and realizes you put more in than you ever get out.
    Is Wall Drug still there?
    How about a Hotel? Motel?
    Are they very expensive?
    Enquiring mind wants to know, mine…
    Thanks for your site.
    Pat

    Reply

  3. Gina
    Jul 15, 2008 @ 00:47:55

    Very cool pictures and history. I would love to see Rushmore. This sounds like a fabulous trip.

    Reply

  4. Dumbbell Set Weights
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 03:21:36

    my sister is an addict on Slot Machines, she always play any kind of game on the slot machine ‘*:

    Reply

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