|Mt. Rushmore in the mist|
I’ve seen pictures of Mt. Rushmore, but being there is a different experience. Just the scope of the
vision is impressive – to carve a mountain. Frankly, it would never occur to me to do such a thing. And it’s almost funny to read about its conception, “an idea to draw sightseers.” Well, it certainly has succeeded in doing that. Even in the rain and outside the popular season there were plenty of tourists and us among them.
|George Washington in earmuffs|
Larry and I followed the president’s trail that gave a number of interesting views of the individual heads. At one point I snapped George Washington and when I looked at the picture I had inadvertently positioned a pine bow to make him look like he was wearing earmuffs. It made me laugh and reminded me of all those photos you get with things coming out of people’s heads.
About halfway around the trail is the artist’s studio with a model that Borglum was working from. His original design included the presidents’ upper bodies, but that part of the project died with Borglum.
|Gutzon Borglum, sculptor|
Our first stop in Rapid City was the visitors’ center. Right next door was a park which included an exhibit on the Berlin Wall. That was a head scratcher to us until we started reading the markers. Mt. Rushmore seems to have given Rapid City a sort of national identity with an emphasis on patriotism. Americans can do big things, they seem to say, whether it’s creating a nation based on republican principles and rights, building the Panama Canal, carving a mountain, or running an airlift into a besieged foreign city.
We went to the 5:30 Mass at the Cathedral, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, for Our Lady of Sorrows’ feast day. It was another orthodox, reverent Mass. So far the closest we’ve come to a crazy liturgy was a sign for a “polka Mass” on the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin, but we haven’t seen any liturgical dancers dancing the polka or anything else. On the other hand, we’ve been to two Sunday Masses where the congregation was praying the rosary before Mass and this evening virtually the entire congregation stayed after the priest left to make their thanksgiving.
Our day ended with dinner at the Alpine restaurant in Hill City which has one menu item – filet mignon in two sizes for either $8.95 or $10.95 served with a baked potato, lettuce wedge, and Texas toast. Having only one dinner item doesn’t seem to suppress their business; it was booming and we had to wait 40 minutes for a table.
What a great day! And the weatherman is calling for sun tomorrow.