Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mount Rushmore – The Long Way

For some reason I wanted to take the long way to Mount Rushmore through the backcountry roads of South Dakota. I definitely gained a new appreciation for the word “rural” that day. We drove on paved roads through the Badlands for a few miles and then hit some long, straight, dusty dirt roads through Indian reservations and farmland. We were headed west and the Black Hills were visible on the horizon. The mountains grew slowly closer and thankfully the truck had enough gas. I don’t think AAA comes out that far.

The black hills were surprisingly green and filled with Ponderosa Pines just like Flagstaff. We wound our way up and down several mountain passes and stopped to photograph a buffalo herd before booking it straight to Mount Rushmore. We were eager to see this national monument but were thoroughly warned by all who had visited that it’s not very impressive. Our verdict: “it was okay.” Definitely an inspiring feat of sculpture but not necessarily something to write home about (although I just did). It was worth the trip since we were in the area, but we were on to bigger and better things…the Rocky Mountains. Hey Cara, do you love the USA?

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