Fun Stop #2 on the latest trip: Mt. Rushmore! The whole reason we went East instead of South on this drive was originally to see Mt. Rushmore. My friend and I had never been and it seemed like a great opportunity that wasn't likely to come up again soon.
The drive from Devil's Tower to Mt. Rushmore wasn't that long. We had a quick lunch of pb&j and chips in the car and before we knew it, we were crossing into South Dakota
And we passed this guy that I just had to take a picture of
And every kid (okay, and adult too) loves a tunnel
The first glimpse you catch from the road:
I tried to catch Sierra's face when she first saw it, but I missed. She looks pretty awe-struck here, but this was actually after the fact. Imagine she's 10 times more excited than this:
Once we got there I was a little disappointed to find there is a parking fee that is not covered by the national parks annual pass, so we had to pay to get in. It was impressive to see though and there is also a museum set up to show how the monument was planned and sculpted. I was surprised to find there was a HUGE cafeteria there as well. We didn't eat there, so I'm not sure what all was offered and what the prices were, but you could definitely eat a meal there.
The girls did the junior ranger program again. Sierra had a regular junior ranger booklet that required her to watch a 14 minute film about the monument and do a few worksheets. Sedona did a "pee-wee junior ranger" worksheet with some easier questions. We took their picture with Mt. Rushmore in the background And after they were done with their booklets, they turned them in to the ranger and answered more questions (they usually talk with the ranger a while when they're done with these and then take a little "junior ranger oath" to help protect the park)
Driving south from Mt. Rushmore, our last view was one last glimpse of Washington
We had intended to also stop at the Crazy Horse Memorial, but we were running short on time, so I had my friend pull over on the shoulder of the road and I took a picture with my zoom lens. I felt a little guilty, but I did it anyway. I'm guessing the white lines are where they're plotting the next blasts since this sculpture is still in the process of being carved.