Giant Heads

Mount Rushmore South Dakota

There are few places as uniquely American as South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore. No U.S. road trip would be complete without a stop at the giant granite visages of these four historic presidents. Yet it is also one of those places that everyone has already seen in pictures, and pictures do it justice.

Visiting Mount Rushmore gave me the same feeling I had when first laying eyes on the Eiffel Tower or the Mona Lisa – Eh! Sure, carving 60-foot busts into the side of a mountain is impressive, but I had come to terms with that accomplishment a long time ago. Seeing it first hand didn’t really add anything for me.

What I did discover is that George Washington ranks first among equals. His giant noggin is seen virtually everywhere.

From inside caves . . .

and inside buildings. . .
Mount Rushmore George Washington Profile

On trails inside the park  . . .
Mount Rushmore George Washington

and on the roads outside the park. . .
Mount Rushmore George Washington 2

George Orwell Wasington is watching!

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16 Comments on “Giant Heads”

  1. Pat Bean October 21, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    Great photos. Good memories.I stayed at the Beaver Lake Campground when I visited here, and took a daylong tour with two other people, a couple of old broads like me and we had a great time. Also loved your photos of Devil’s Tower. I’ve blogged about both places.


    • Brian October 21, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks Pat. We stayed in Rapid City (a bit too long). I thought we’d do a bunch of hiking through the Black Hills only I found that most of the stuff we wanted to do was behind Custer State Park’s “pay wall.” As we’re going to be camping directly in Custer, we didn’t want to pay entrance fees just for a day’s hike. More on that later.


  2. customtripplanning October 21, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Like you, while I am impressed by the work that went into sculpting this mountain with these faces, I am more amazed by natural shapes. I was saddened, for example, when I heard the Old Man in the Mountain in New Hampshire, a natural shape, broke off a year ago or so.


    • Brian October 21, 2011 at 10:00 am #

      Absolutely. As much as the carving of granite reflects high human accomplishment, there is something more fascinating about unspoiled natural beauty. Looking at the last two photos in this post, I find the unadulterated rock to be far more beautiful than the George Washington bust.


      • Oscar October 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

        Your first photo of the four busts is the “famous” one that come to my mind. I have wondered what the facade looks like from other vantage points, which you also provided. I too thought that (in the last photo) the natural sculpture had more appeal.


        • Brian October 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

          Nature is pretty tough to improve upon. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.


  3. thesweetkitten October 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Great pictures!


  4. Grant October 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Picture #4 is great!


  5. fadelee October 22, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    Thanks for reading my post! It seems you’re nearly in the same areas as me. Which direction are you headed? I really appreciate the insights you had from your top 7 post as well. It’s clear you put a lot of thought into your entries.


  6. Mary A Writes October 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    Nice pictures. We must have nearly passed each other on the highway. Did you stop at the National Museum of Woodcarvers near Custer while you were in the Black Hills. Have a safe and wonderous journey


    • Brian October 25, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

      Hi Mary. We missed the woodcarving museum. Maybe we’ll hit that next time.

      Cheers, Brian


  7. frizztext October 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    I’ve never seen the inside / outside combination, great!


  8. rajeevshukla November 6, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    Everybody knows Mount Rushmore. We have either visited or seen photographs sometime or the other.But your pictures have given a new dimension to the carvings by pointing out that George Washington appears more equal than the others.(Animal Farm is it?)


  9. annapos November 7, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    Přeji dobrý den z Česka- Evropa. Anna
    Zajímavé fotky.



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