The South Dakota Vacation Guide tells us that the entire population of this state is just over 800,000 so it is no surprise that vast areas of the state are sparsely populated.
We arrived in Rapid City on a gloomy, drizzly day but decided to head over to the main tourist attraction in the region, Mount Rushmore. We've seen images all of our lives, but wanted to see the real deal. As we approached from Rapid City, Teri suddenly said "Oh look, there it is". So we pulled over in a small pullout and took this picture. From this angle Lincoln's nose covers up quite a bit of Roosevelt's face, but it is a good viewpoint.
|Mt. Rushmore - First Look|
We drove up to the designated parking area, only to learn that while the memorial itself charges no fee, parking is $11.00!! Neat trick. Since the weather was crappy and we could see the monument just fine, we passed on paid parking.
The view from the front shows all of the faces. We were surprised to see that Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln are set back into the rock a bit, with only the front of their faces carved. Washington is the only face that really projects from the rock. Driving a bit farther gives you that "profile view".
We are finding that most of the tourist attractions are still "Closed for the Season" around here. I suppose there is no reason to open up if the tourists haven't yet arrived. In fact, the KOA that we are camped at opened only a couple of days ago.