Photo Favorites: South Dakota

Although I have lived in South Dakota nearly all my life, before this summer I had only been out west to see our most famous attraction, and at that time I was so little that I didn’t even remember the trip.  So when the family went to Rapid City to visit our niece for her birthday, I made sure that the Lovely Wife, Little Guy, Baby Girl and I went to see The Shrine of Democracy at Mount Rushmore.

I don’t pretend that my picture is any greater than others taken, but seeing it in person makes the photo special for me.  Make sure to click on the full size version, so you can see the fissures and lines in the granite.

A visit is highly recommended as no two dimensional photo can really do it justice.  There are two things about the carving that I especially like.  Washington’s visage, stoic but determined, seems to me to capture what he must have been like as a general and president.  The other thing is Jefferson’s positioning.  Originally the faces were all supposed to be side by side, but the rock didn’t cooperate, which is why you see the staggered placement.  I think it adds something to Jefferson, though–looking out over Washington’s shoulder, seeing the possibility and potential future of the United States.

Worth the trip is also the Black Hills themselves, known to the Lakota as Paha Sapa.  It is easy to see how this would be considered sacred ground.

And of course, although not finished, be sure to visit the monument in progress depicting Tasunke Witko, better known as Crazy Horse (a better translation is His Horse is Spirited).  Crazy Horse Memorial is massive.  I am probably not the only one who wonders if it will ever be finished.

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5 responses to “Photo Favorites: South Dakota

  1. I’ve never been to Mt. Rushmore. My parents went when I was 13 and they let me stay behind for tennis lessons. I’m still ticked they let me get away with that. Tennis? I should have been standing next to them, looking out on the magnificence of stone and art, whining, “This is booooring.” I’d appreciate the memory now. Tennis. Please. I was awful.

    • I picked up golf because I was the only one in my family who wasn’t good at tennis. Now Mom and Dad play golf all the time, and I never get to play because I’m busy with two kids. Anyway, I probably would have been bored as a kid, too. Luckily we a planning another trip to the Hills this summer. We probably won’t get to do half the stuff I want to do.

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  4. Hey Ryan, I pingbacked you through Zemanta on my WordPress blog and thought I’d leave a comment.

    Mount Rushmore is a really awesome place, in fact the whole Black Hills area is. I was last up there a couple years ago but want to go back. We didn’t get to see Crazy Horse, I did back in the early 90’s though. I bet it’s a little different now.

    Well, I’ll see you later!

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