The air was crisp, like freeze your nostrils chill, fresh in true February fashion. I was dazed by the pine trees that were sprinkled throughout the mountains, offering their free fragrance for the passerby. The white of the snow throughout the mountains more or less blinded me as it covered anywhere rock didn’t. That probably explains why I barely heard the kid yelling at me that my dog was not allowed up on the Mount… I’m sure he was talking to someone else… certainly not me.
Sue was a good boy on this adventure. There WAS a sign that said “No Dogs Past this Point.” However, there weren’t markings of where the point began, and I mean what constitutes a dog anyways? I was very respectful of the few people that were up there with me, I stayed a good distance from everyone. He didn’t pee anywhere, we weren’t bothering anyone… I do feel the need to defend myself for bringing him up there. That dang kid, “Mind your own business!” is what I wish I would have yelled back. (I thought of this on the drive home, among many more.) I genuinely didn’t put it together until after they had moved on that he was yelling at me. If it was a nice warm sunny day out, I wouldn’t have brought him. Plus, I mean look at that photo… what a cutie! (He’s pondering the meaning of life. #seniorpicpose)
I had it in my head that as soon as I saw Mount Rushmore, I’d shrug and be like “Yep, there it is”, turn around and move on with my day. There is more to it than that. The pathway (Avenue of Flags) to the view point (Grand View Terrace) is lined with flags of all 50 States, with an engraving of when that State was founded. So even if you were lugged up the mountain by your family, you can still say “Hey, there’s my state!” Which is exactly what I did. Fun Fact: Iowa was the 29th State admitted into the Union in 1846.
Past the Avenue of Flags (And Captain Judgement, Miniature version) stood Mount Rushmore in all its dignity and glory. I took it all in; how much time and work had to be put into this structure. Years of dealing with weather, faulty tools and government delays as well as the actual effort of sculpting it. I made a mental note to inquire how long the faces will last. According to John Burgess, a Former US Foreign Service Officer, who answered this question on http://www.quora.com, the faces on the Mount will take 2.4 million years to erode. How amazing!
After our trip to Rushmore, we lallygagged around, finding a park in the Black Hills area for Sue to do some sniffin’. I went to Crazy Horse, a monument for the Native American leader, Crazy Horse. I watched a dated documentary they had set up inside the museum that was quite educational. I took a lot of photos that will be worth more than any words I could put together for my venture in the National Park. So please check out my Instagram account thewanderinglily3 for more insight into Sue and I’s experience.
Thanks for reading. Keep wandering! <3afk