Today, at long last, I visited Mt. Rushmore. After waking up in Rapid City, SD, I made the quick 30 minute drive into the Black Hills National Forest, and up to the Mt. Rushmore memorial.. blanketed in a thick fog. When I got there, visibility was a solid 20 feet, and nobody could see anything. It was actually quite comical, standing on the grand viewing deck with a group of about 10 other tourists, all laughing at our situation.
After waiting out the fog in the cafe for a bit, the weather finally cleared, and I got a great shot of the carved mountain. Mt. Rushmore is a classic American tourist destination, and a fun sight to see – and it this case, the crush of tourists when the weather cleared actually added to the appeal. Standing on the viewing deck taking the same photos along with everyone else gave a strange sense of unity – like we were all visiting this American Icon together. Reminded me a little of the wave speech, from Fear and Loathing.
The carved mountain is an impressive site – the carvings are interesting to see, and the history behind it is long and complex. But overall, it was really just a big carved rock sculpture, with a very expensive tourist center built up around it to handle the guests. Great to have been there, and now I can check that off my list.