Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Touring the Country in a Hyundai Accent: Mt. Rushmore

Well, hello there!

Remember how I'm in grad school in New York?  I was just talking to a friend the other day, and it kind of feels like I've been here for years.  Utah?  That was ages ago.  I don't even remember what it looks like!
(Acutally, yes I do, and I miss it.  A lot).

Anywho, so I'm home on a Friday night, and thinking to myself, "I've got a paper due on Monday.  I've got approximately 1,712 pages to read.  I have 7.5 group projects to be thinking about.  But I don't want to do any of them!"

So blogging it is.

Instead of telling you about my life here in Syracuse (I've got a blog post in the works, and it's going to be good!) I am going to share with you the trek I took getting here.

The first decision I made after accepting Syracuse University was the fact that I was going to drive out here.  I had officially paid off my car, and I did not want to be without my dear Peter/Wendy.  It was then decided that my mom, Ian, and my dad would be joining me.  In this:


We decided we would ship my boxes out to New York, so we just had to fit four suitcases in the back of the car.  And because Ian is such a great packer, we successfully did just that.  My mom planned out the entire trip, and my dad booked the hotels, and we were on our way!

The first day was a full day of driving.  I brought 5 books with me (we were going to be in the car a long time, I wanted to be prepared!  And don't tell me to get a Kindle... I've already got one), so I was definitely prepared.  Usually when I take road trips, I'm super excited to be in the car in the beginning, and by the end, I never want to sit in a car again, but this road trip was so different for some reason.  I never got tired of my car and driving.  The 5 books probably helped.

The first day we drove through Utah, Wyoming, and made our first stop in South Dakota.  We were there to see Mt. Rushmore, of course, but we also happened to be there the same time at Sturgis, so there were SO MANY mortorcycles (I know I spelled it moRtorcycles, there's a story behind it.  Ask me about it sometime.  It's good.) and people in leather.  I loved it.

That night we got a good night's rest, and the next day we got up to visit Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse National Memorial, and just visit the quaint town of Keystone, South Dakota.


They gave us these great brochures, so I quizzed my family the whole time on various trivia of Mt. Rushmore.


For example, did you know that Thomas Jefferson was originally to George Washington's right?  The rock was too soft, so they had to blast it off and start over.



Or that goats frequent the area around the mountain?


Or that George Washington's nose is the longest of the four by about 1 foot?


Or that the most used tool when carving Mt. Rushmore was dynamite, which was used 90% of the time?


Or that Mt. Rushmore was, in fact, originally going to be full torsos?


Or that the total amount it took to create Mt. Rushmore was just less than one million dollars: $989, 992.32?


That included the wages for the 400 workers for the project.



Mt. Rushmore was named after a lawyer, Charles Rushmore.  He was visiting the Black Hills to investigate mining claims 40 years before the carving, and he asked what the name of the mountain was.  A guide jokingly said they'd call it Rushmore, and 40 years later it was named Mt. Rushmore.


The faces are 60 ft tall, the eyes 11 ft wide, the mouths 18 ft wide, and the noses 20 ft tall (except Washington's, of course).


The rock is granite, and only erodes 1 inch every 100,000 years.


The four presidents represent birth, growth, expansion, and preservation.


It took 14 years to carve (or blast, if we're being more specific, here).


Even though the workers worked in dangerous conditions, no one died in the making of Mt. Rushmore


Oh, this one is my favorite:  Gutzom Borglum, the sculptor behind Mt. Rushmore, wanted to build a Hall of Records in the canyon behind the carving to store historical documents like the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.  He started carving, but only carved about 70 feet when the funding ran out due to WWII.  Borglum died, and although his son took over, the project was shut down and never completed.  About 15 years ago the Borglum family put a vault in the mountain with panels etched with the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and history of Mt. Rushmore and the Presidents, but it is shut off to the public.  How COOL is that?



Also, I hate taking candid photos.


I'll give you a guess about who took this picture of a lovely biker...


...My mom.

After we visited Mt. Rushmore, we decided to walk down the streets of Keystone, where we were staying.  It was such a cute little street, and it was FULL of mortorcycles.  We visited some antique shops and other fun, quirky places down the street.









My mom's favorite bike:




We went to eat at Teddy's Deli, where we got big, tasty Reuben sandwiches.


After that, we headed to Crazy Horse National Monument, which was a little disappointing after Mt. Rushmore.  We watched this movie about it, which totally hyped it up, and then you go out to see it, and it's this partly completed face sticking out of the mountain.  They're still working on it, and it's going to be YEARS until it's completed.  But they did tell the story of the guy who started the monument, and he started it BY HIMSELF.  It's a pretty interesting story, so you should read about it if you've got some time.

I also got a cool Native American ring there, so I guess it wasn't a total waste.


But it was so fun to see a little bit of history that I had never seen before!  A perfect start to our trip.

1 comment:

  1. I love you! And miss you! Can't wait for more posts about your awesome life :)

    ReplyDelete