Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunday at Mt. Rushmore

Donna: It’s Sunday and we headed toward Mt. Rushmore. Another destination not on the route of Bud and Temple, but we just had to see it while we were this close. Quite a few times yesterday people would make comments pretty close to, “You just walk up, see the faces, that’s all, then you leave. Nothing too great.” How wrong can they get? I am thinking they started walking around on their own and had no idea what they were seeing. Ranger Jason announced he was getting ready to give a walking tour. I was interested in having a guided tour because I heard him say he would explain why these four men were the ones chosen for the monument. I got a lot more than I had planned on. Way cool! We learned about how the idea was developed. How the men were chosen. About the work entailed in carving the monument. Ranger Jason even had some interesting facts to share about all four presidents. Then we were lucky enough to have him a little later to show us some of the tools used by the workers as well as a more detailed description of their job description. It seems every job was specializing. I was very surprised when learning that not one person was killed on the job.
We were driving toward Ft. Laramie when we were able to see the unfinished Crazy Horse monument. It will be even bigger than Mt. Rushmore. One fellow traveler who had visited Crazy Horse said that the face of one president on Mt. Rushmore would be the same height as the hair on Crazy Horse. I do plan to go back someday. We then headed to Ft. Laramie. I think about half the structures were ruins from the old fort. They had glass doors with locks so you couldn’t really get too close to the rooms that had a lot of artifacts in them. We’re planning on staying in Cheyenne, Wyoming tonight and look forward to meeting the attorney general and doing some more newspaper research tomorrow.

Melody here…Gutzon Borglum…another man who had a passion….but is not a name that is recognized in the households across America---but I hope to do my part to change that fact for the students of Yale…Borglum is the sculptor who had the vision to create the President’s faces on the side of Mt. Rushmore….A native of South Dakota wanted Borglum to carve the legends of the old west into the hills of South Dakota…but Borglum convinced him to carve the Presidents instead….he was a first generation American and had a deep love of his country…. What a great visionary…. Standing in front of the carved faces was another opportunity to marvel at the talent and vision of people across America….what talent to take the side of the mountain and turn it into the likeness of four of the greatest Presidents of our nation….It was amazing to hear that the men had to climb over 700 stairs to get to the top of the mountain….then they were able to clock in!!
Listening to the ranger talk about why these men were chosen, reinforced my desire to teach our students about these and other great men and their inspiring character traits….
Mt. Rushmore was my favorite part of today….we traveled through the open country of Wyoming…it is beautiful…stopped at Fort Laramie…lots of history….the Bedlam house is the oldest standing building in Wyoming (1848 or 9) –then headed to Cheyenne….
Another full day of seeing beautiful flora and fauna…I am amazed at all the deer and antelope we see….
Hope you are having a great day Matt……Everyone, thanks for reading….we hope that you all enjoy the little snippets we put on here….Look forward to being home and sharing all of the stories in person….consider yourself warned!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hahaha, that's funny stuff. hope you guys had fun i almost died laughing looking at the pics! c(= - wyatt holmes-