I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Driving to Mount Rushmore

In January of 2012, my son was beginning a new semester at a school in Colorado.  For me, Colorado seems a world away.  Of course he wanted to bring his car.  I immediately offered to make the trip with him (OK, I told him I was making the trip with him).  I got out the map and plotted our trip.  We were going to Colorado via Mount Rushmore.

It was a trip I will never forget.  We set off early in the morning on a Friday and we were in his 1997 Volvo 850 Wagon that had clearly seen better days.  I have to admit that while driving down I-95, there was something special about driving this particular car and listening to Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love on the radio.  Time was erased.  It was liberating.

Every time we stopped for gas, we had to add oil and antifreeze.  The car was packed to the gills with college stuff.  We were eating the left-over Christmas candy for a snack.

We made it to Chicago the first night and ended up somewhere in the middle of South Dakota on the second night.  We dined at Al's Oasis. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect.  We left Connecticut in the rear-view mirror and were now in uncharted territory.  People on the highway stared at us.  Was it because they didn't see many Connecticut license plates?  Was it the stickers all over the window or was it because we were losing parts as we were driving along?

After a brief stop Sunday morning at the infamous Walls Drug Store, we continued our journey.  The Badlands had begun to show up ahead of us.  This Yankee was definitely not in New England anymore!  The South Dakota countryside is stunning in a way that's uniquely different from our coastline and rolling hills.  The unexpected beauty of this deserted stretch of highway was breathtaking. 

When we exited the highway to get to Mount Rushmore, my heart started to race.  This was something I had only read about as a child!  I never expected to really go here.  As we began the trip up to the visitor's center I cried.  The experience was moving beyond expectation. 

We are definitely not in Connecticut any longer!

You can see for miles and miles.

A dining experience we won't soon forget!

The terrain begins to change.
This car deserves it's own post someday.

Simple beautiful against the blue sky.

Seeing Mount Rushmore for the first time.
We made it.

Every state is represented with a flag at the monument. 

The morning was crisp but not cold.  The sky was incredibly beautiful. 

It's hard to imagine what the landscape looked like before.

This gives you an idea of how the carvings sit on the mountain.

We were presented with this view of George Washington as we left the park.

And it was on to Wyoming.....
Happy Presidents' Day!

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