The Shaping of a Nation....Mt Rushmore
Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
81Trip End Dec 10, 2008
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We were really looking forward to seeing Mt Rushmore, so headed off early around 7.00am. Travelled through Wyoming and lost count of the dead deer we see, on the side of the road (as many, as you would see possums on the NZ country roads, first thing in the morning). Can't believe Venison is so expensive in NZ.
First stop (after checking out a campsite), is the family owned business, Bearland. It is effectively a zoo, (without as many fences, and certainly no cages), that you can drive around at your own lesuire. However, we were warned to keep all windows up (we kind of did), as it was mating season, and the males of the species get very protective of their female family
As they don't have gates to separate the different wildlife, they use big cattle stops, (which I think could be electric as well). Anyway, I'm sure it's normally effective, however, today, one of theWolves decided to be in hunting mode, and somehow got into the Elk enclosure. Normally, this would have proved a deadly situation for the Elk, but one lone wolf, against an angry elk bull, with huge antlers , it made a very different story today, and a very interesting watch for the kiwis in the RV. (I don't think the ranger on the bike, who was trying to sort it all out, was too impressed.) After the drive through, we parked and took a walk through 'Babyland' where we saw beaver, otter, frox and 10 month old baby bears, that just wanted to play fight all day. They were gorgeous, and looked so cuddly. Really cute. (FYI, once the babies are weaned from their mums, they're bought into a enclosure for their own protection, as the male bears are known to kill and eat them).
Our next stop was face-to-face with the famous 4 - Wahington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Jefferson
Even for us non-American citizens it was quite a moving experience, as you met these men face-to-face. The ranger took us on a tour, and 'introduced' us to them, explaining their role in creating the nation that we know as the U.S.A. - the dreams, the visions, the passion of these men, who idvidually came to power, and indivdually strived to see their dreams for the United States of America a reality, is truly an inspirational, and challenging story.
Onto less emtional and more in-your-face attraction, we stopped off at the Reptile Country where they boast the biggest, the longest and the most venimous snakes
Summary: fantastic day - informative, motivating, mesmorizng, and ...... you're certainly left with a feeling of being the 'little person' , not just against the great heros and leaders of yesterday, but also the animal kingdom of today.