We drove up to Mount Rushmore two years ago. We went due north, taking only back roads through America’s Heartland. Most days we drove on two lane roads for hours without seeing another car or even a structure.
From the tour I learned that the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, had the final say on who the four figures would be. He also picked out Mount Rushmore as the site. Rushmore is named after a New York attorney. Most of the sculpting was done with dynamite charges and then refined with jack hammers. The guide said that the granite is the hardest stone on earth except for diamond; it erodes at one inch every 10,000 years
Borglum was going to extend the carvings down to the waists, as shown, but he died shortly before the project was finished and the funding dried up as the U.S prepared for the likely entry into World War II. Borglum’s son finished up the project. It takes three to four days to see everything if you include nearby Custer State Park and Deadwood.
We came up from Dallas, where the temperature was 100 F when we left. Three days later, we were in South Dakota, where the high on the day we visited the park was 45 F.
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