Monday, August 20, 2012

Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monument

We arrived in the Black Hills and even though we have been there a number of times before, took a tour of this great area. Of course, high on the list of attractions is the Mt. Rushmore National Monument. Our first stop was along the side of the monument where there is a great side view of George Washington's carving. 

 You can see both the amazing carved figure as well as the dark colored granite from which the figure was carved. Located at about 5,700' in elevation, this face of George Washington is over 60' high.

 From a distance, it is easy to see the granite cliff where the carvings were created. It is also easy to see how the Black Hills got its name, given the dark rocks and the equally dark green color of the spruce trees.

Carved by Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, the monument was carved from 1927 to 1941 before completed to this stage. Initially, the figures were to be carved from head to waist, but funding restrictions caused the monument to stop at the current completion.

 Regardless of the initial plan, this monument is remarkable and inspires patriotism in all who see it. We have been several times before and never fail to be moved as we view it.

 Of course, Mt. Rushmore is not the only monument in the area. We drove through the Needles area (see the next post) and came out in the town of Custer, SD. Driving back north, we passed the fabulous Crazy Horse monument.

The size of this project is beyond reality and when completed, will be over 500' high and 600' wide. In progress since 1948, the monument receives no public funding and is totally done by a foundation directed by the Ziolkowski family, represented by the wife and children of the original sculptor,  Korczak Ziolkowski. While we did not have time to explore the monument up close this time, we have done so on several prior visits and it is certainly well worth the visit.

1 comment:

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Two great places to visit:) Still waiting for some real progress at Crazy Horse:)