Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mount Rushmore National Memorial and The Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota.

On our recent vacation visit to the great state of South Dakota one of the first places we visited was the awe inspiring Mount Rushmore National Memorial. It was so exciting to walk down the plaza lined with all the flags of the 50 states and see the memorial up close for the first time! The Park Service installed an all new Presidential Trail in 1997, which is a concrete and plank walkway that takes visitors along sections of a Ponderosa pine forest up to the blast fragments at the base of the monument. It is an invigorating climb!

click on the enlarge collage

Mount Rushmore National Memorial was carved in the granite core of the Black Hills during the years of October 4, 1927 and October 31, 1941 by the sculptor Gutzon Borglum and a crew of 400. The colossal 60-foot carvings of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln were chosen to represent the first 150 years of American history. These presidents were selected by Borglum because of their role in founding, preserving and expanding the new republic of the United States of America's territory.

A brand new 2,000-seat amphitheater was also installed in 1997, below the main viewing terraces. There the spectacular evening lighting ceremony of Mount Rushmore begins. A ranger begins the prohram with an inspiring speech and then a 20 minute movie about the mountain's and our nation's history is shown.
Then, with the strains of the "Star Spangled Banner" in the background, huge floodlights dramatically reveal the four presidential faces, stark white against the black, starry Dakota sky. Veterans of all the US military services are invited up on the amphitheater's stage to lower the American flag at the close of the ceremony.

The Mount Rushmore Memorial is visited by almost three million visitors every year from all across the country and around the world. It was a sight I'll never forget!

click on to enlarge the collage
The Crazy Horse Memorial is located 17 mils souhtwest of Mount Rushmore and is a work still in progress and when finished will be the world's largest sculpture. It was the work of sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski from 1948 until he died in 1982. His wife and family have continued with the project and are working with the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation to complete it. When finished, Crazy Horse will stand 641 feet long and 563 feet high!
The memorial is a representation of the Native American Lakota leader Crazy Horse, who was chosen to represent all North American Indians. The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation founded in 1948. hopes to be an official repository for Native American artifacts, arts and crafts through the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center, and by ultimately establishing and operating a university and medical training center for Native Americans.
As of now only the face of Crazy Horse has been completed, but the white model of the chief sitting on his stallion pointing to his lands represent is how the massive mountain scuplture will look upon completion -- also very awe inspiring!

Of course the best part about of the beginning of our vacation was our visiting our sweet little grandson first! He is growing so big! We would be seeing him again at the end of our trip, and that thought kept me happy throughout our sightseeing trip in South Dakota and Wyoming.

I am linking this post to Mary's blog My Little Red House as part of her Monday Mosaic group. Please look at Mary's blog today to see links to other creative and beautiful photo mosaics!

I'll be showing more of our wonderful "Wild West" vacation adventure in future blog posts over the next week -- I hope you'll come back for a visit

38 comments:

Sharon said...

Oh thanks for sharing. It's been years but I would love to go back. Sounds like a lot has changed. Your mosaics are wonderful. Sharon

Proud Italian Cook said...

Very impressive Pat! We hope to see this one day soon. Your little baby L has grown so big, he's a little boy now! Precious!

Lora said...

Great pictures! I visited Mt. Rushmore almost 20 years ago & I'd love to go again. That entrance with all of the flags is new-to-me and looks so beautiful! I'd love to see the Crazy Horse Memorial someday, too.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Great mosaics! Now that post brought back memories...of our visit to Mt. Rushmore not many years back. I felt like I was walking donw that plaza once again!

Your grandbaby is all grown up...and just as handsome as could be!

Gracie said...

Thanks for sharing this Pat!
And how cute is little (not so much anymore) Leo with that hat???

Mary said...

Wow, how cool is that?! Mt. Rushmore is such an iconic image, I never really thought of how it actually looks in person... thanks for sharing at Mosaic Monday, Pat. :)

Oh, and your grandson is SO cute!!!

Marilyn said...

What a wonderful vacation & your photography is flawless... especially that lieele guy at the bottom of the post. A real cutie!!
Love,
Marilyn

Carolyn said...

very interesting mosaics-great photography!
Your little grandson is so cute!

Carolyn

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Very cool. I've always wanted to see Mt. Rushmore - someday. Leo is as cute as ever.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

I am looking forward to seeing more pictures! Especially of the time you spent with Leo! He is adorable in that little cap. The trip sounds like it was absolutely awesome.
♥, Susan

Charmingdesigns said...

I just found your blog. Your photos are stunning. Glad you enjoyed your trip west.

Jenny said...

Awww...that little fella is so cute. I love Mt. Rushmore. I always make up little stories in my head about people living there. It's a weird trait I have. Well, one of many! Enjoyed this trip very much! Thanks for sharing it and that darling little Leo with us.

Lily Hydrangea said...

Isn't Mount Rushmore amazing?
spectacular photos Mille! & your grandson is so cute!

Paz said...

Very cool. I'd love to visit here one day.

Your grandson is sooooo cute.

Oh! I see that Lily Hydrangea has already written that but it bears mentioning again. C-U-T-E. ;-)

Paz

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Wow, Leo is growing up so fast! He is just adorable, I know you want to just kiss his sweet little face off! I don't have a bucket list, but if I did, seeing Mt Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial would be on it!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I almost feel like I got to visit these two amazing historic places with you, because of how real-to-life your photos look. I've never visited either of these two places, so I was thrilled that you shared them with us. My favorite though...the adorable little guy at the last picture. He stole my heart.

Musings of a Sea Witch said...

You are a natural story teller. I adore your words and enjoy your mosaics...it is like being there with you. Sea Witch

Juliana said...

First...your grandson is so cute...second, the pictures are so pretty...I never been at Mt Rushmore, so thank you for the nice pictures ;-)

Jeanne said...

Great shots! Haven't seen one of the Crazy Horse monument latelya nd pleased to see its progress. The entry to Mt. Rushmore I've never seen so that was cool. All the mosaic shots are wonderful as well. To answer your question I used the Framer technique here http://bighugelabs.com/ then saved the image and added the text. Thanks for your comment!

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

Sounds like you have had a wonderful vacation. I've been there several times and love it everytime I go! Little Leo is certainly growing up.

Sue said...

Very cool Pat....what a beautiful monument....and that little guy of yours is just adorable...he's looking like a big boy...I bet you hated to come home...

Beverly said...

Pat, your trip must have been wonderful. You saw places that we hope to visit some day.

And, your little Leo is gorgeous.

Oliag said...

First and most important...Mr L is growing in leaps and bounds and is adorable!

These sculptures are a great idea for the mosaic monday...you took so many great shots of them!...This is the first time I joined in Mosaic Monday too...

M.Kate said...

Absolutely beautiful pictures Pat..and look at Leo, he has grown much :P hugs........M

CatHerder said...

Oh how cool! In all the years our friends went on the motorcycle run there, we never went....definately a place i would like to see.....DC as well, never been there either lol

Tracy said...

Thanks for taking us and showing us, Pat! I've not been to Mount Rushmore--hope to one day... Your photos are outstanding. Love the presidents lit up at night. And the mosaics are such fun. Leo is an angel...oh, he's so sweet...And how much he's grown! Happy week, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

Carol said...

What wonderful mosaics and photographs.

Carol

Rachael said...

We took our boys to Mount Rushmore about 6 years ago and they thought it was very cool!

You got some really neat photos, love the color on the flags! Your grandson is absolutely precious too!!!!!

Melanie said...

What an amazing place to visit. What vision that sculptor must've had to even start such a huge work. I wonder if we will see Crazy Horse finished in our lifetimes?

Rosezilla said...

Wow, this has changed a bit since I was there! We went in 1975 when I was 14 - and they had just had a bomb threat at Mt. Rushmore so everyone was on edge. But it was still really amazing to see.

Junie Moon said...

Both of these places are awesome and I'm so glad you got to visit them. We quite enjoyed being there, too. I love your pictures and your wee grandson is so adorable.

Karen said...

I am lucky enough to have been to these places too. Great photos you have shared with us.

aliceinparis said...

Your grandson is becoming very handsome!!!
I would love to see Mt. Rushmore on day. Crazy Horse is amazing!

Karine said...

Mount Rushmore is indeed quite impressing. I went there 3 years ago and I love it!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Leo is certainly growing up and he is such a beautiful little boy. I remember watching a special on the Crazy Horse monument years ago. It must be exciting to see it in progress. What a neat trip.

Gina said...

amazing photos once again!..and little Leo has grown so much since I was last on your blog (sorry for such a long absence!!) have a lovely weekend Gxx

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I think my favorite face in this post is Leo's. No disrespect to Honest Abe. :-)

La Petite Gallery said...

Pat, this makes me want to
for sure. I want to drive to Bridgeport and take the ferry to Long Island and see my Cousin in Bayview, hope to get there this fall.
Great post
yvonne