Friday, September 20, 2019

Mount Rushmore 2019 visit

This is our second time here to Mount Rushmore.....always wanted to go here. All that's there is the four faces on the mountain but that is more than enough!

The Visitor's Center is terrific....showing how it was made, personal accounts from the workers and tools and instruments that carved the rock. And the Gift Shop was about the largest I've ever seen. Everything-Mount Rushmore!

Really, I could not take my eyes off the faces. They're absolutely amazing! Creative, life-like, huge, compelling....and on and on.

Entrance from the parking lot into your first views.

Some close-ups...



Jefferson was originally going to be to the right of Washington. You can see the carvings where they took him off. Turns out that he was going to be too small to view so, after 18 months of work, they took him off and moved him to Washington's left side, where he is now located.


There was a path that went as close underneath as allowed to get these views. Notice the pupils...more on this down below.

Teddy Roosevelt

Notice the horizontal line on Lincoln's nose? On his right side of his nose is a sensor to monitor that crack to see if it enlarges or moves at all. There are 6 more sensors placed but I never found any of them.

The way the sculptor used that extruding part to give the eyes a three-dimensional look was very creative.

Some original rock at the base showing the holes that were drilled to place the explosives.

Original tailings from the rock. They had to use explosives to get down to the granite layer in order to do the sculpting as the top layer was too crumbly.

View of Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor.
Borghum also did the North Carolina statue at Gettysburg.

They would drill these holes to remove large sections of rock.

A Dallet hand facer and bumping bits were used to smooth the rock in the final stages.

Drilling the holes to remove large pieces of stone.

Lincoln in progress

One of the original ideas of the presidents. All of the body would've been sculpted instead of just the heads.

The BEFORE of the rock face.
Facts About Mount Rushmore

  • The four presidents carved in the mountain are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
  • Thomas Jefferson was originally started on George Washington's right. However, after 18 months they realized that it was not working. Jefferson's face was dynamited off and carved on the other side.
  • It took 14 years to complete Mount Rushmore.
  • No one died while building Mount Rushmore.
  • The sculpture cost $989,992.32 to build.
  • There is a cave behind the carving called the "Hall of Records." It was intended to house the story of Mount Rushmore but was never completed due to lack of funding.

Why these four?

George Washington, (1st president) led the colonists in the American Revolutionary War to win independence from Great Britain. He was the father of the new country and laid the foundation of American democracy. Because of his importance, Washington is the most prominent figure on the mountain. (1732-1799)

Thomas Jefferson, (3rd president) he was the author of the Declaration of Independence, a document which inspires democracies around the world. He also purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 which doubled the size of our country, adding all or part of fifteen present-day states. (1743-1826)

Theodore Roosevelt, (26th president) provided leadership when America experienced rapid economic growth as it entered the 20th Century. He was instrumental in negotiating the construction of the Panama Canal, linking the east and the west. He was known as the "trust buster" for his work to end large corporate monopolies and ensure the rights of the common working man. (1858-1919) 

Abraham Lincoln, (16th president) held the nation together during its greatest trial, the Civil War. Lincoln believed his most sacred duty was the preservation of the union. It was his firm conviction that slavery must be abolished. (1809-1865).



After seeing this place on postcards, movies (North by Northwest), magazines, TV, etc. It was unreal to be right there viewing it but it was magnificent ! We just sat and stared at it. Great stop!

oh...and a Katie photo....after working on a jigsaw puzzle....

Monday, August 26, 2019

MONTANA - Big Sky Country !

There is just no way to convey the vastness of the countryside views of Montana in photos. You can only see what the lens is showing you and not the peripheral vision that you are taking in as you shoot the shot. But....for what it's worth, here's some Big Sky Montana photos....

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana
Katie...wondering when we're going to keep paddling

As the clouds burn off...Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana

In the morning...ready to take off in the kayak...Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana

Helena, Montana sunset

Reed Point sunset, Montana

5 miles from the Canadian northern Montana

"We ready to get going"? 

So peaceful and calm....

As the clouds disappear...

Heading north to Great Falls, Montana

Kayaking outside of Bozeman...looking at the mountains north of Yellowstone.

Bridger Ski area north of Bozeman, Montana

Big Sky country

Half block from our RV spot...

Great subject for a painting

Sunset over our RV park in Reed Point, Montana

These are just samples of the many many vistas we've seen over the past month as we traveled around Montana. You can see why it's called "Big Sky Country".

This is why we like the West so much. As the song says, "I like those WIDE OPEN SPACES!".

Our journey so far....16 stops in red. The dark stars are the stop yet to come.