It’s been so so long since I’ve been here. Of course it’s way more touristy now than it was years ago. There’s a hotel at the base and you have to pay to park there now. But the fantastic pink granite peaks still pierce the big blue Dakota skies. Instead of joining all the tourists viewing the monument from the standard locale, I opted to wander along the spectacular road between Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park.
It’s a wonder of engineering this road, very scenic and fun to drive. It also affords straight on views of the famous monument to four of my country’s best. From this viewpoint, you might say there is room for others; say Franklin Roosevelt or Martin Luther King. I think the space left for the natural granite indicates that Rushmore’s creators, Lincoln and Gutzon Borglum, were true artists.
Some say an American Indian should go up there. But a mountain not far from here has a carving of the great Lakota warrior Crazy Horse. It’s still under construction, with only his head finished. It will eventually include his horse, if the private funding doesn’t dry up that is.
I camped not 100 feet from this view. Since it was dark when I found it, I didn’t know. I was a little lazy getting going and had little time before the sun rose. So it was very lucky that I had chosen this place to camp. Many spots along the route have “almost views” that are mostly blocked by the beautiful pine trees growing here.