Back to the monument itself and a few interesting facts from the history and construction:
- the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, was 58 yrs old when the project began
- the project took over twice as long and cost almost twice as much as originally estimated (14 years and a little less than $1 million)
- the project stopped short of the complete design due to the death of the sculptor (his son worked a bit more, but enthusiasm and funding waned)
The boys are standing with the artist's last working model, 1/12 scale of the mountain work (each inch on the model scales to a full foot on the mountain).
Our favorite photo taken from the short trail toward the mountain includes a bit of fall color.
We couldn't resist having the boys try to pose stoically with the presidents. Here you see six home educated Republicans!
As the trail returns to the main visitor's center, a display of authentic Indian tepees is available for perusal. The ranger explained that Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Indian tribes were all actually using dialectic variations of the same word.
The next day we had a good morning of studies and took the afternoon to tour around the Black Hills countryside in search of some fall colors and see if we could get a glimpse of Crazy Horse. While there were mostly pine trees, the hills were beautiful and there was a splash of color now and then.
A ranger led a terrific program and introduced a short Discovery video that highlighted the lives of the Mt. Rushmore presidents.
As the film concluded, the lights gradually brightened the faces above the stage area.
We returned to the RV park and rose to see this amazing sunrise the next morning! Then, we watched the weather turn windy, rainy and cold - as had been forecast. With winds gusting up to 60 mph, we were glad to have the flexibility to wait for better traveling weather!