A Private Viewing of Mount Rushmore

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!

IMG_1491IMG_1496IMG_1495Bright 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.

IMG_1522IMG_1517IMG_1503In 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.

IMG_1508IMG_1505As 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.)

Before and after the cleaning (photo by Kärcher)

Before and after the cleaning (photo by Kärcher)

Cleaning George Washington's chin (photo by Kärcher)

Cleaning George Washington’s chin (photo by Kärcher)

While you’re enjoying the big heads in the snow, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal, or through my websiteFacebook, Twitter and Instagram?

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!

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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21 Responses to A Private Viewing of Mount Rushmore

  1. Hopeje says:

    Great picture! And great choice

  2. Imaging having that cleaning job!

    • Jaspa says:

      At some point in the past, a previous owner of our house painted the entire exterior of the building grey, bricks and all. It looked terrible.

      When Rich first moved to Canada, he wasn’t allowed to work, so he got it into his head to clean all the paint off using biodegradable paint striper, a wire brush and a pressure washer to clean the paint off the entire house. It took him 2 months!

      No wonder he started writing Jaspa’s Journey shortly thereafter, and hasn’t looked back since!

  3. Ahhhh – we were going to choose the same thing as our subject. Us monkeys and giraffes think alike 😉
    Great photos!

  4. Cee Neuner says:

    I’ve been there but not for a very very long time. Great photos. Thanks for playing.

  5. y. prior says:

    very cool photos – love the flags in a row and at night – and the layering and patterns in the rock carving is awesome.

  6. Amy says:

    Great photos of this grand monument! What a massive cleaning-up task!

  7. These are great for all of the challenges. I especially love th one where the guys is hanging off Washington’s nose to clean his chin. 🙂

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  11. Cris says:

    Nice take on the Monument theme! I’m curious about all the flags, looks like from several of the different States. It’s also interesting to see the before and after effects of the cleaning. Congratulations on eliminating all the competition! 🙂

    Meanwhile, you’re welcome to come and see what my take on the theme is:
    http://fstopfantasy.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/weekly-photo-challenge-monument-2/

    • Jaspa says:

      Thanks, Cris! I think the flags represent all the states. And it certainly was nice there without any crowds!

      • Cris says:

        🙂 That’s the way it was the one time I got to see the Grand Canyon, mainly because it was winter and the hotel was closed, even though I was able to stay overnight there anyway. 🙂 It was so cold in the morning that I wasn’t able to get a lot of photographs due to frostbite. LOL I did get some, though, as the canyon was full of clouds. Looked really cool. (no pun intended-hahaha).

  12. Pingback: Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota | Jaspa's Journal

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