A tribute to four presidents and the contributions each made to the building, preservation, and growth of our great nation, Mount Rushmore is awe-inspiring to say the least. Truly one of the great patriotic symbols of our country.
Our first glimpse was of George Washington in profile along CR 244 as we approached the entrance. This view of Washington became visible from this angle after the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, had to blast Jefferson off the mountain after encountering a section of “bad” granite. Jefferson was subsequently moved to the other side of Washington, leaving this great profile of the first president.
|Lakota Camp display|
|National Park version of a winter count|
The Black Hills are sacred to the Lakota Indians, so there was a small display along the Presidential Trail. We stopped, of course, to investigate. What caught our eye was an Appalachian Trail symbol painted on a buffalo hide. Gene questioned the Ranger about this curiosity and learned that Native Americans often painted pictures on hides which they called “winter counts”. At the end of each year, the artist would add one picture depicting the most notable event of the year, thus, as time passed, giving a record of tribal history. On this particular hide, the artist had drawn images representing the “firsts” in each category of the National Park units. The Appalachian Trail was the first long distance trail to receive the designation of “National Scenic Trail” by the park service.
|Crazy Horse Memorial|
Tomorrow, Harney Peak, South Dakota’s high point.