- Mount Rushmore
Over Labor Day weekend we joined Don,
Matt and the Mills Boys for a 'monumental' RV adventure to The
Black Hills of South Dakota and Mount
Click on the following to Jump Ahead:
We picked up our 'home away from home',
Freelander 33 foot RV, on Friday and
then picked up the boys from school and headed straight to The
Black Hills of South Dakota, a 6+ hour drive from Boulder north
on I-25 and through Wymoming. Along the way, the boys enjoyed
the freedom of hanging out in the RV and enjoyed a few board
games along the way...
- Stopping at Chick-fil-A in Loveland
We arrived at the Palmer's
Gulch KOA campground at night and the
boys explored the campground first thing in the morning. They
quickly found the air trampoline and other fun activities that
were a part of our new RV 'village'.
- This one was giving us the 'stink eye'...
Later in the morning on Saturday, we
departed to Custer
State Park which is a real jewel in
the surprisingly bueatfiul Black Hills. Custer State Park is
a 71,000 acre state park with a wildlife loop drive and is famous
for its large 1000+ herd of American Bison, aka the Buffalo,
aka 'Tatanka'. As you can see below, we did encounter the herd
and so there are lots of Buffalo pictures. We also saw a nice
film on the history of the region and of Custer State Park narrated
by (who else) Kevin Costner. We also stopped at Stockade Lake,
one of the lovely lakes in the region for a little fishing.
- The Stockade Lake Bridge, built in
by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1937
After returning to camp and cooking
up some dinner on the camp fire, we drove up to Mount Rushmore
and braved some rain to take in their night time ceremony which
culminated with a lighting of the Mount Rushmore faces.
- Entering Mount Rushmore National Park
- This is the backside of the iconic
Mount Rushmore monument...
- Our first look at a wet Mount Rushmore
(better views tommorrow)...
- A park ranger introduces the tribute
film which again culminates with a lighting of the monument...
- The boys enjoying making 'Smores on
the camp fire...
- The adults enjoyed a nice bottle of
wine or two...
Sunday we returned to Mount
Rushmore National Park, this time with
favorable weather - indeed it was a bueatiful blue sky day. We
took in the monument, a film about its genesis and construction
and walked a realtively short hiking loop around the monument.
Below follows more pictures of Mount Rushmore than you might
want to see:
- Bust of Gutzon
Borglum, the primary sculptor of the
Mount Rushmore figures...
- Mount Rushmore was constructed between
1927 and 1941, the workers used dynamite to blast away rock before
finishing more closely with a process called honeycombing. Over
450,000 tons of rock were blasted away which can be seen in the
- Brendan presses the plunger to simulate
blasting rock off the face of Mt. Rushmore...
Near Mount Rushmore is a mounument to
Horse, a Lokota (also known as Souix)
cheif famous for his participation in the Battle of Little Bighorn
(Custer's Last Stand). The backstory
to the Crazy Horse Monument is fascinating
and it has been worked on by one man and one family since 1947.
- Painting of Korczak Ziolkowski, an
assistant to the Mount Rushmore project, who spent his life working
on the memorial with his wife,
sons and daughters. Intersesting video
on Ziolkowski here.
- This is what the monument will someday
theoretically look like...
- This is the old steam powered Buda
compressor made in Denver in 1881 that Ziolkowski nicknamed "Kaput"
because it had a habit of stalling after he had hiked halfway
up the mountain forcing him to turn around and start again up
the 741 steps to the mountain. One day this happened nine times!
- Ethan spies a BMW M4 to pose by...
Here are some images from the town of
Custer, named after the controversial military man George Armstrong
Custer, where we stopped for lunch and stumbled across a Studabaker
Some images from the last day and the