This is an incredible site to see. Imagine Mt. Rushmore times 10 and you only get a small sense of this project.
To get a sense of the size of this project, this picture was taken about a mile away at the park entrance.
We got there early and opted to take a bus ride down to the monument from the visitors center for an extra fee. The visitors center will be in a separate post because it has too many pictures for just one post.
The monument is created using the same method as Mt. Rushmore – explosives. They blast most Fridays I was told.
As you get closer you can see the features taking shape and the massive amount of rubble created by the slow carving of the mountain.
The one view that you cannot get from the visitors center is the backside.
The features from the back are not as detailed yet as from the front. This gives you a better sense of what it takes to create such as massive monument. If you look closely you can see a piece of equipment off to the middle right giving you an idea of it’s size.
From this view you can see the equipment working on the arm section. Someone always seems to ask about the hole in the mountain. It is part of the design but was done early to move equipment from the backside to the upper arm section.
The detail on the finished face is incredible to see. Unfortunately you cannot just wander up to the top as that is where they are working. There are some special tours for a price available.
It is hard to believe that the man that started this project in 1947 is long gone. It is – in large part -through the efforts of his children and grandchildren that this project continues to this day and will continue for an estimated 50 years more. This means that each time you visit this magnificent monument it will be different.
While there is elegance and refinement at the finished Mt Rushmore, it is fascinating to watch this work in progress take shape. Even more astounding is the fact that this is being done without any public funds. It is entirely funded through the admissions and private donations.
This is a “must see” place to visit.
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