One of the great things about travel is that certain places become microcosms, or little places where everyone seems to come… even if they don’t know why. Mt. Rushmore is definitely one of those places. You see and hear so many different types of people, and it makes me wonder how long their journeys took, and all of the things that happened along the way. There’s already a story before they arrive.
With this idea in mind, I couldn’t help thinking that this is one of the lasting legacies of Mt. Rushmore. Not only is it a microcosm, but this is exactly what the country these people helped create wanted. A place where everyone, from virtually everywhere, can come together.
But, what I never realized before today is also how controversial, and downright insulting, Mt. Rushmore can seem, especially to the Native Americans. I mean think about it, a huge mountain full of white people. Once I understood this, I finally had a new perspective on Crazy Horse Mountain. It makes more sense to me why this mountain is going up – It’s the Native response to Mt. Rushmore. I also really like the fact that the mountain is still being built. In fact, I hope that it’s never finished. It’s better this way.
On a side note, I also enjoyed the Black Hills Institute in Hill City, which has a great dinosaur museum. I loved the fossilized plants the best though – these reminded me of the hand prints in cave paintings. Distant images from the past.