Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, South Dakota
August 19-21, 2016
After 2 ½ days of driving, we arrived in Keystone, South Dakota Friday, August 19th around 4:30 pm. We checked in to our next home away from home at The HolySmokeResort.com, it was a small campground just off Rt. 16A and two miles from Mount Rushmore, which was so nice and all we needed for two nights. Price: $38.00/night.
These 2 guys were exhausted, especially Will since he did all the driving. So we made dinner, had a few cocktails and called it a night since Saturday was going to be a busy day exploring Mount Rushmore.
Saturday, August 20th, we headed up to see Mount Rushmore National Memorial located in the Black Hills of S.D. It was cool driving the winding road leading up to the massive sculpture. You would get a peek here and there, along with goosebumps when you would get a quick glance.
As we started the walk towards the Memorial, I (David) started getting very emotional and I was trying not to let anyone see. Then Will noticed my voice trembling and asked why I was crying.
“It was very overwhelming, because I never thought I would be here, in person looking up at this national monument.” Seeing it in magazines or in text books or even on line, is not the same. It leaves you speechless, breath taking, magical, spectacular, amazing, sensational, incredible, the list goes on.
The history of Mount Rushmore is so fascinating that we will leave this website for you to read. It truly is an amazing piece of history. http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/mount-rushmore
Then after that, we got in the Jeep and headed to Custer State Park’s 18- mile Wildlife Loop, located in the Black Hills. It’s a huge nature preserve with gorgeous views, trails and resorts, which encompasses 71,000 acres. The ranger says a herd close to 1,300 bison roams freely throughout the park often stopping traffic. We thought, right…lol. Well, we saw probably about 100 or more, and yes, we did have a traffic jam, as the bisons were walking along side everyone down the road, it was incredible.
Everything from bisons, antelopes, tons of deer, wild turkeys, Bighorn sheep and those cute little creatures, prairie dogs. They were comical just watching them.
Our next little adventure was to go see Crazy Horse Memorial which was just 17 miles from Mount Rushmore. It was started in 1946 with the goal of protecting, honoring and preserving the history, culture and living heritage of all North American Indian people. Again, it is an amazing piece of history, and so hard to believe that these huge boulders can be transformed into art and history.
The Needles Highway (SD HWY 87) splits off of Rt. 16A , is 14 miles long and was finished in 1922. It was said to be impossible to construct by everyone. Named after its high needle-like granite, the twist and turns of this highway was like a rollercoaster, and the view was magnificent. We even saw a man rock climbing one of the “needles”. There are many sharp turns and low tunnels that were dynamited back in the day.
That evening we went back up to Mount Rushmore to see it all lighted up. What can I say except, WOW…..Beautiful.
So after a long day, we called it a night, but not after some ice cream…lol
If you ever get the chance to come or pass through South Dakota, you must stop and see those guys up
on Mount Rushmore. The symbolization of the 4 presidents is” freedom, liberty and the power of a dream”.
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