Ambivalence is the word we both settled on to describe our feelings about visiting this patriotic national monument in the South Dakota Black Hills. Just a few miles of twists and turns from our overnight stay, we reached Mt. Rushmore.
Originally designed to attract tourists to this remote out of the way corner of the US, it has gained more attention of late. Since George Floyd, the nation is gripped by renewed focus on racial justice and these four white men carved in rock considered sacred by native tribes symbolize inequality. Add to that the planned rally on July 3rd by he “who shall not be named” and you get the air of awkwardness we both felt.
BTW the renovation sign is not accurate – it was closed off for a power wash of the walkway and terrace at tax payer expense for a presidential photo op for a guy whom brags about not having paid any taxes. How ironic is that!
On to less charged items. We continued our exploration of the Black Hills with a scenic driving loop including the towns of Deadwood, Sturgis of Harley Davidson meeting fame, and Rapid City. Then we chilled out with a peaceful happy hour on a rock outcropping before we returning to Mt. Rushmore in the dark which afforded us views in a very different light.