Monday, June 16, 2008

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota—CONTEST CLOSED

We, here in America, hold in our hands the hopes of the world, the fate of the coming years; and shame and disgrace will be ours if in our eyes the light of high resolve is dimmed, if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men.
—Theodore Roosevelt, March 1912

Finally, Mount Rushmore. Our only intentional, pre-planned stop on our road trip—and absolutely worth the effort to get there.

Megan and I took turns sitting on the rock at the entry way to the memorial. We made sure we got the mountain in the background as proof that we really were there and didn't just pull photos off the internet.

Isn't this amazing? It was breathtaking—there are just no words good enough to describe the feeling of standing there, looking up at this piece of American art.

The Meaning of Mount Rushmore
The four American Presidents carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore were chosen by the sculptor to commemorate the founding, growth, preservation, and development of the United States. They symbolize the principles of liberty and freedom on which the nation was founded. George Washington signifies the struggle for independence and the birth of the Republic; Thomas Jefferson the territorial expansion of the country; Abraham Lincoln the permanent union of the States, and the equality of all citizens; and Theodore Roosevelt, the 20th century role of the United States in world affairs and the rights of the common man.
The story of how this monument was created is awe-inspiring. Gutzon Borglum was a genius. He created a model 1/12th the size of the mountain and used geometry to blast or chip away the rock one point on the graph at a time.

Isn't this a lovely photo? It's just a cool rock there near the memorial, nothing very special, but it gives you a feel for the area.

I really loved our time in South Dakota. It was beautiful from one side of the state to the other. I've visited and driven through many of our nation's states and South Dakota is the only state, besides Utah, that spoke to me on a heart-deep level. Perhaps it's because it's got mountains like Utah and the green grass and trees of Kentucky. I think that if for some reason I ever decided to move out of Utah, South Dakota would be the first place I'd consider.

Of all the states we drove through, South Dakota had the most fun things tempting us from billboards—Bear Country, Reptile Land, Sitting Bull Crystal Caves, Dino Land, Big Thunder Gold Mine, Old MacDonald's Farm, and the list goes on and on. It was so hard to drive past all these places. I could spend a month in SD just being a tourist.

After our visit at Mount Rushmore, we went down into the town nearby and visited a zillion tourist shops. We ate overpriced buffalo meat at a local buffet. Tasted just like beef to me. I also found some souvenirs for my grandchildren and these two cute little pigs.

This one has such a cute expression.

And this one is to remind me to believe in the impossible.

Contest Question: If you could live in any state in the U.S.A., where would you live and why?
  • Post your answer by Midnight, June 18th.

  • All answers are eligible for the contest.

  • Winner will be drawn at random.

  • Prize: Something. . .

Now playing on my iPod:
God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood


Annette Lyon said...

Um . . . the state I actually live in? :)

But I'd love vacation homes in Seattle, LA, and New York.

Sandra said...

In New Mexico, but only if I could live in Luna. My most favorite memories were created there. It sits in the top of a mountain, the weather is just right in the spring, summer and fall. Not too much snow in the winter. And it is the most beautiful place in the world to sit on the front porch in the evening and listen to the pine trees whispering in the breeze.

If I can't live there, then I guess it would be back to Utah, but would want to go to Logan to be by my family.

Natasha Ireland said...

Utah (because of Timp and mostly FAMILY) but if Family did not exsist (thank goodness they do)... I would stay HERE PLEASANTON, CALIF. I love it here, it's my kind of place. Totally!

Suan said...

i think probably hawaii... i have never been there but i really think i would love it... i could be happy anywhere with an ocean, beach, and flip flop weather for me (and shorts weather for Ry) all year long :)

Jennifer Leffler said...

That is a hard one as I have lived in California (Southern), Utah, Colorado, Virginia and Nebraska. Each had it's pluses and minuses. But if I had to choose one place it would probably be San Diego, California.

Suan said...

kandis- bahamas

Suan said...

diana-san diego

Summer said...

I love Mt. Rushmore and the South Dakota scenery. It was very inviting when we vacationed there a long time ago.

If I could live in any state, at this point it would Texas. Houston Texas specifically. My grandparents are there, there's no snow in winter and housing is ridiculously cheap.

eva said...


it's absolutely beautiful. it's where my mom's family is from and because I just absolutely love it

Anonymous said...

Brookings, Oregon! The edge of town is the Pacific Ocean. How could you possibly get any better than that?

Candace E. Salima said...

Too late for the contest, but I'd either live in Idaho or remain in Utah, where I am.

Sounds like South Dakota was a blast. I'm glad you had the opportunity to do that with Megan.

Wendy said...


Greatest state in the union.