Visiting the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota is really an exercise in trying to photograph a postcard-perfect money shot of the sculpture. Above, we almost collided with this motorcycle to capture a pretty cool view of Americana.
Left to right: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln. What are those two whispering about?
From another angle, you can see that Lincoln and Roosevelt aren’t really that close to each other:
Ha, a bird flying into George’s nostril. For scale, keep in mind that his nose is approximately 20 feet tall and the head 60:
This view gives you a good sense of the immensity of these rock formations. Artist Gutzon Borglum’s original plan called for sculpting each likeness down to the waist but, when his son Lincoln Borglum was completing the project, that was abandoned in favor of busts due to budgetary constraints:
The Black Hills’ landscape is rugged and raw:
Evidence of a recent forest fire:
For whatever reason, we were determined to get our fill of Mount Rushmore without paying to park directly beneath the monument — after getting ourselves out there and paying to enter and camp in the park, that seems a bit silly, but we managed to check out several different views and, yes, I think we got our money’s worth.
Nature-wise, I’ve also visited Acadia in Maine, Zion in Utah, Mesa Verde in Colorado, Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, Joshua Tree in California, Kasha-Katuwe in New Mexico, Badlands in South Dakota, and Yellowstone in Wyoming.