Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
270Trip End Ongoing
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We woke up early today so that we could head out by 8am and get on our way to Mt. Rushmore. It was only about an hour drive, but we wanted to get there before it got to crazy crowded. We ended up parking with ease and heading up to check out the Presidents. There is a Presidential Trail that you can walk to take you out closer to it. We decided to do this and after taking tons of pictures we headed in to the Lincoln Borglum Visitor's Center and Museum to check out some information on how the sculpting was done. We also checked out a 14 minute video about it. It was pretty cool to learn how they did all the sculpting of it. They used alot of dynamite, about 90% of it was "carved" with it. They said they were able to get within 3 or so inches of the final stone with explosives. Then they honeycombed the stone with jackhammers and chiseled out the rest
It was also really cool to see the system they used to measure the model and to transpose those measurements to the mountain. It was interesting to find out that Jefferson was supposed to be on the left side of Washington, and they started to carve him there. But then they his some rock that wasn't suitable for carving so they blew off what they had started of Jefferson and put him on the right side of George. Another cool thing was that the original design had more than just the heads of the presidents, there was to be bodies also. But again they got into too much rock that was unsuitable for carving as well. If you look at George you can see some of his clothes and even Abe has a little bit of a popped collar on the right.
Overall it was pretty cool to see this amazing carving of a mountain!
After finishing up at Mt. Rushmore we ate lunch in the parking lot and then headed on our way toward Custer, SD.