Kuiper poses with Mount Rushmore in the distance behind him.

Mount Rushmore

Kuiper visits Mount Rushmore.

Here’s a phone pic from last summer’s Great American Road Trip. You can’t take a non-service dog much closer than this to Mt. Rushmore; dogs are only allowed in the parking garages and a small area around them. However, inside is definitely worth visiting if you can make it work. There’s a really cool museum, as well as a Memorial [Baseball!] Team Ice Cream ­čŹŽ Shop where you can get a tasty treat made w/Thomas Jefferson’s original recipe.

Like a lot of American history, the story of Rushmore’s creation is…complicated. The idea to create a giant carving in South Dakota of famous people came from a historian named Doane Robinson. He wanted to attract more tourists to the area. In 1924, Doane tracked down sculptor Gutzon Borglum to head the project. Borglum was well-known at the time for his work on Stone Mountain. (That’s a Confederate monument in Georgia featuring Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. It’s where the second iteration of the KKK was founded, and Borglum was heavily involved with them…)

Anyway, Rushmore. Construction began in Oct 1927, and ended Oct 1941. Borglum didn’t carve the mountain alone; he had a crew of nearly 400 people. In his initial project proposal, Borglum wrote, “I shall use no explosives­čĺą on any of the carving…This is unnecessary and unsafe at Rushmore…”┬áThat plan lasted for about 3 weeks before they gave up and broke out the dynamite ­čĺú; in the end 90% of the carving was done with explosives.

Did you know that there is a secret room in Rushmore, inside of Lincoln’s forehead??? Borglum wanted to create a Hall of Records to showcase historical documents and sculptures of famous Americans. He got as far as blasting out a big tunnel before Congress told him to finish the faces and that the Hall was not to be a priority.

In 1998, porcelain┬ápanels w/America’s founding documents were sealed there for posterity in a titanium vault covered by a large stone slab. Unfortunately, the Hall is not open to the public as it’s a pain to get to, but the NPS has pictures of it online.

Do you like road tripping? I’m getting the travel itch and think we might have to check out Route 66 this year!

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk_TYmzgt05/

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