Friday, January 4, 2008

Mt. Rushmore – BIG disappointment

What a significant feat of sculpture! Viewing the carvings of the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln should take your breath away. Instead it was a burden to see and enjoy.

Mt. Rushmore, in South Dakota, is a national memorial and we had expected our National Park Pass to allow us free entry as it had at all the other national sites we visited. We arrive and find that, instead of a fee to the memorial (where our park pass would work), there is a private parking garage. The road, literally, forces you to enter (if you want to visit the site) the parking garage, where they charge you $8.

The site was VERY crowded. The entire entryway is built up, funneling people through a corridor of state flags, towards gift shops and food stands. At the end is an amphitheater (yes, there is a huge amphitheater facing the Memorial) where they do laser shows at night. Trying to get a picture or take video without someone walking into your shot was a challenge. It all seemed SO contrived, which, of course, it was.

For a free, and much more interesting view of the sculpture, view it from the Iron Mountain Road in South Dakota's wonderful Custer State Park.

see also:
Mt. Rushmore area information
Custer State Park