After setting up camp in our 3-month rental house, in our new life in Ashland, OR, we had several weeks to call our own before we took ownership of what is now our B&B. We took care of a few matters of business and spent time scouting out our new town. When the time was right we packed our son’s car and drove it across country with a plan to cross off Mt. Rushmore from our must see list.
No Juice, No Lights, No Nothin
Our son relocated to Washington, D.C. in the fall but had not yet figured out a way to get his car. We had time to kill and needed a vacay, so we hit the road. Well, almost. The car was packed, key in the ignition, turned it over and nothing. We got nothin; no juice, no lights, no nothin. Hop, skip and a cable jump later and we were off. I confess it took me about 48 hours on the road to be convinced we weren’t going to be stranded somewhere. Have you ever traveled eastern Oregon? If so, you know of what I speak. There ain’t nothing out there. Anyway…
Hot Week in DC
We drove across country in about 10 days staying just a day or two ahead of the storms and tornadoes that ripped through the midwest that spring. We spent a blistering hot week in Washington, D.C. and then flew back to Oregon. Since we had previously driven Route 66 from Chicago to CA by way of the southwest, we decided to take the northern route for this trip. We left in mid May, the 17th I think, and while we thought it might be chilly, but not too bad; at the last moment we each grabbed a sweatshirt and tossed it in to the back of the car. I have never been so grateful to have a sweatshirt with me – ever.
There were a few serious reasons as to why I wanted to drive the northern route; one in particular – Mt. Rushmore. You know how you just have some things you want to see, in your lifetime? Mt. Rushmore was one of mine. We arrived in Rapid City, SD to wet, gray evening skies and my worst fear was possibly going to come true. It was looking as if we wouldn’t be able to see the monument through the clouds. But the next morning, Mother Nature, while wreaking havoc in other parts of the country, granted us a reprieve from the weather. It was cold, but it didn’t rain.
Ya Gotta See It to Believe It
Mt. Rushmore is one of those – ya gotta see it to believe it – kind of places. We spent a good three hours at the monument, seeing every angle we possibly could. There is a great visitors center where one can push an explosive plunger to get the feel of blowing up granite. Also, there is a boardwalk hiking trail that takes one through the wooded area around the base of the monument. The trail walk allows a multitude of views of the faces, and the artist studio is a really interesting place to visit as well.
And of course, who doesn’t remember the classic scene of Cary Grant in North by Northwest escaping the bad guys over the face of Mt. Rushmore? One of the best classic film endings – ever.
You are absolutely right on Eastern Oregon, Patti! I saw Mt Rushmore as a kid and I still remember that no picture or seeing it in a movie does it justice like seeing it in person. It’s absolutely breathtaking. Brrrr…on the snow in Wyoming as the weather is turning here. You know of what I speak! 🙂
Mike recently posted…My Top 10 + 1 Favorite Meg Ryan Movies
Totally agree Mike – seeing Mt. Rushmore in person is awe-inspiring and no pictures can do it justice! I had been dreaming of seeing the monument probably my entire adult life. There was just something about it that spoke to me and it didn’t disappoint! Thanks for reading!
I really want to visit Mt. Rushmore too Patti; amazing pics. We’re going to need a lot of time (and cash!) to do all the things we want to in America; we’re definitely going to need to work next year to save up for that but I can’t wait!
Amy recently posted…Batad: The Toughest Trek
Yes, Amy, America is not a cheap destination but the country is HUGE with so much to do and see. I think for Route 66 you could easily camp and all of the National Parks in the U.S. have campgrounds. Maybe our paths will cross when you visit the U.S.!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen pictures of Mount Rushmore that include much more then the faces. I’d love to be able to walk around and take it in from different angles!
Jess recently posted…Eating Your Way Through New England at the Big E
I would encourage anyone traveling near the monument to make the effort to visit. It’s extraordinary! Thanks for reading, Jess.