As Ailsa (of Where’s My Backpack?), correctly observes in her photo challenge this week, somehow snow makes everything look Clean. Even the smallest sprinkling can bring a brightness and freshness. And, to a certain extent, the same can be said of seeing a special landmark at night.
This week’s Daily Post theme of Monument got me thinking of the time I visited South Dakota in November, 2009. Our friends all thought we were crazy to visit The Mount Rushmore State at that time of year, but we were actually very lucky with the weather. And because most people were of the same mind as our friends, we practically had the whole state to ourselves. Including Mount Rushmore itself.
From the extensive parking lots beside the visitor centre, I expect Mount Rushmore is a bit of zoo at the height of the season. But on both our trips up the mountain, we were more-or-less the only visitors there.
We arrived in Keystone after dark, and made a beeline for the monument. We saw only two other visitors that evening, and they were already heading back to their car when we arrived. The mountain was ours!
Bright and early the next morning, we headed back up to Mount Rushmore. This time it was much more crowded at the viewing area. At one point we had to share it with three other people! Didn’t they know we’d booked out South Dakota for the week?!
Doing our best to contain our outrage at this oversight, we nevertheless enjoyed the light dusting of snow had come to rest on the presidents’ faces overnight.
In the photos of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, the Layering and Patterns formed during the removal of the mountain from around the faces, and also in the natural rock strata, are very clear. Thanks to Nancy (of Nancy Merrill Photography) and Cee (of Cee’s Photography) for providing these additional aspects to my photo challenge submission this week.
As an aside, did you know that even mountains need a clean sometimes? In 2005, the German company Kärcher and the United States National Park Service washed all the grime and lichen off the Mount Rushmore sculptures. So Ailsa, our view of the monument in 2009 was quite literally cleaner than it would have been if we’d been there just over four years earlier! (Click here to learn more.)
And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!