Four dudes on a mountain

17 05 2015

Wow. I mean. Wow.

How… monumental. How very… American.

Four white guys on a mountain.

We finally made it to Mount Rushmore, tucked in the Black Hills in southwestern South Dakota. A pain to get to, but worth the effort.

The cockamamie idea to carve massive 60-foot heads of four presidents into the side of a South Dakota mountain was born in the 1920’s in the midst of this continent’s golden age, and it took something like 25 years to actually bring it to completion. Hundreds of workers, hanging from ropes off the side of the mountain, blasted, chiseled, hammered and shaped the granite into the faces we see there today. It was both a sculpting and engineering feat that was pretty impressive for the day and age in which it was done (without computers and sophisticated programs). The memorial was not actually dedicated until 1991.

(Nononono, at the time it never occurred to anyone that there should be anything other than four white guys… Women, Native Americans and people of color were not up for nomination. Come on. It was the 1920’s.)

For those of you not versed in U.S. presidential history, the four dudes are (from left to right): George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln – all presidents who did something monumentally positive for the life of this country for which they will be remembered. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, Washington kind of pulled it all together right after his army kicked the Brits out, Lincoln freed the slaves and Roosevelt was an early voice in conservation and established the National Parks System.

And these creatures here were the main beneficiaries of that. Aren’t they spectacular?

Aren't they spectacular?

MMMMHHH… munchmunchmunchmunch…

Two buddies just chilling out.

Two buddies just chilling out.

Thank GOD there were wise people around back then who literally saved the bison from extinction.

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