After scrolling through this post for more than 1.7 seconds, you will immediately notice that the weather in some of the photos are drastically different — most sunny and a few all doom & gloom and foggy. Did I steal these photos from the Internet? Did I make this whole post up and not even go to Mount Rushmore at all? Is everything a lie? Can we ever really trust anyone?
ALRIGHT, drama queens, RELAX. Before you go and walk yourselves off a cliff, I have a very logical, reasonable explanation for the drastic difference in sky colorage in this post. Ready?
We went to Mount Rushmore… twice.
I know! You probably feel like such an idiot now!
Here’s how this whole let’s-go-to-Mount-Rushmore-twice thing went down. We arrived in Custer, South Dakota late on a Friday afternoon after a 4am wake up call and a glorious few hours exploring Wyoming’s Black Hills & Devil’s Tower. We were, as they say, pooped.
After a mini refreshing session in our luxurious accommodations (xoxo Econolodge) (it surprisingly really wasn’t even that bad!)(there was one moth on the inside of the window screen though), we headed to Mount Rushmore just as some clouds seemed to be rolling in. We barely even noticed them though, because we were just SO DAMN EXCITED TO BE GOING TO MOUNT RUSHMORE. After weeks of itinerary planning and years of hoping to visit, we were finally in Custer, driving scenic US-16, heading to one of the most infamous symbols of America in existence!
Has anyone in the history of the world ever been so excited to be in South Dakota? Anyone?
We were able to snag a few quick pictures and walked along the trail that leads you closer to/underneath the great presidential faces, but as we were leaving, the facade was completely covered in clouds. Like, COMPLETELY. There were some people walking in and I was like, guys, uh, you can’t really uh… see anything. We were lucky to get a glimpse before the fog rolled in, but we decided that since we had a few days in town, we’d head back to Mount Rushmore when the weather would be sunnier & pictures would be prettier.
My sister Amy has wanted to visit Mount Rushmore forever. She recently contributed a guest post about her time exploring Boulder, Colorado, so here she is again with a little write-up on her enthusiastic experience at Mount Rushmore:
“My strongest memory from Mount Rushmore is screaming. Like the screaming-bloody-murder, pierces-your-eardrums kind of screaming. When we were driving through the curvy roads of the Black Hills (casual) on our way to the monument, Kristen and I weren’t sure exactly WHEN those beautiful four men would appear… but I was READY to see those men.
I mean, yeah… everyone wants to see Mount Rushmore. But I really, really, really wanted to see Mount Rushmore. For as long as I can remember, it was one of my absolute top things to see in the world. When you dream about something so much, sometimes it doesn’t actually seem like it’ll come true. But then all of a sudden it was possible, we were in the Black Hills. Heading up to see the damn founding fathers in stone.
BUT WHEN? WHEN WOULD THEY REVEAL THEMSELVES?
Finally, we approached toll booths at the entrance to the park and figured they were coming up. But no one tells you that you can actually see them in the distance as soon as you turn into the parking lot… and it caught me off guard. I wasn’t prepared. I screamed really loud. LOUD. Obnoxiously loud. Kristen got mad at me for screaming. But then she saw too, and she screamed. We just screamed our way up to the toll both. For us, Mount Rushmore = a lot of screaming.”
In between our cloudy first and sunny second trips to Mount Rushmore, we squeezed in tons of Black Hills exploring, including visits to the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park (for tons of buffalo viewing!) and a helicopter tour over the Badlands. Alllllll coming up…
Have you ever visited Mount Rushmore? Were you just as excited to be in South Dakota?