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But it’s so small…

I had no idea Mt Rushmore was so tiny. Did you? You always see that one angle where it looks humongous.

Okay, not counting the people who have seen it in person. I didn’t, even though we did that family “drive across America in a camper” thing twice (1966 and 1967, I think). Didn’t see the Grand Canyon, either.

Speaking of spotting things in the wild, we stopped for fish and chips this afternoon. I stayed in the car and Uncle B came running out hissing, “they’ve got deep fried Mars bars and Snickers bars!” The stuff of legends. Never actually seen it before.

No, we didn’t order it.


Comment from Armybrat
Time: July 7, 2020, 10:16 pm

Husband and I did a trip out to Mt Rushmore a couple of years ago. It actually is stunningly large! I mean, you had to really wonder how they kept perspective and made the faces look like who they are supposed to look like! If you go out that way, go a little further to Little Big Horn National Monument. Fascinating! Many of the guides/ history tellers are Lakota Sioux which provides an interesting viewpoint. The battle field is well preserved rolling prairie and the tombstones in the blowing prairie grass is just visually stunning.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: July 7, 2020, 10:20 pm

Oh, and I had a deep fried snickers bar at the Texas State Fair when we lived in Dallas. I ordered the king size bar and damn glad I did! I still dream about that bar. The yankees just don’t understand the beauty of fried food (unless it’s fish and I don’t eat that stuff).

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 7, 2020, 11:21 pm

Posers! Come back and report when they have deep fried beer!

Little Big Horn – did you know many Native Americans at that battle were equipped with repeating rifles, like the Henry, while the ill starred boys of the 7th Cav were still using breech loading carbines (1873 Springfield Trapdoor 45-70) with copper cartridges that expanded too much and jammed in the breach.

“Repeaters!? Bosh!” the Army Quartermaster wisely stated. “If we issue them repeaters, they’ll just waste ammo!”
“We could issue pikes sir, those never run out of ammo.”
Quartermaster General pauses in thought.
“No, then we’d have to redesign the uniforms and call them lancers. Too costly”.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 7, 2020, 11:45 pm

A couple of years ago we Vegetables spent a week at Yellowstone on a small tour and then struck out on our own to Mt Rushmore. It was an excellent drive, and we found Mt Rushmore quite nice (and plenty large by our uneducated standards) and we also enjoyed the Crazy Horse undertaking. Overall though we just really loved the Badlands. I personally found it more beautiful than Yellowstone, which stuck me more as a collection of science experiments by Mother Nature than a place of scenic beauty.

I would highly recommend the same trip to anyone – spend some time at Yellowstone on an organized tour (book a year in advance, seriously) and then a week of free time to travel over to Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Little Big Horn. Little Big Horn has been a source of fascination for me for years after reading “Son Of The Morning Star” about Custer. Mrs. Vegetable, who is not a student of history, found it the least interesting location on the trip.

As for a sense of scale on Mt Rushmore, well, here is the best way to get an accurate sense of scale.


Comment from Mitch
Time: July 8, 2020, 12:41 am

I’ve heard several people remark that Rushmore was smaller than expected. There’s probably quite a range of scale in the human imagination.

Comment from weasel again
Time: July 8, 2020, 9:47 am

Funnily enough, we did Yellowstone and Little Bighorn, so we must have been close. I remember them both vividly.

Yellowstone was like a slice of prehistory. Like dinosaurs were going to sweep through any minute.

And Little Bighorn… I remember lone graves on far off hills, like the poor bastards were nailed running away.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: July 8, 2020, 1:10 pm

Garry Owen

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: July 8, 2020, 2:48 pm

Is it small enough to be pulled down with a hemp rope and an old Volvo? Asking for a friend …

Comment from Jon
Time: July 8, 2020, 5:07 pm

Armybrat, I am a Yank with a deep appreciation for fried food. Adjacent to fish and chips is fried clams and calimari, which require skill to be done correctly, and I am not partial to the unfried variety of either. I would very much enjoy trying the deep fried items heretofore mentioned.

Comment from Pupster
Time: July 8, 2020, 5:47 pm

Deep fried candy bars are pretty awesome. I don’t understand the process, much like fried ice cream, but I appreciate the results.

Comment from SundogUK
Time: July 8, 2020, 6:37 pm

The scale thing, photo vs real-life is quite curious. Two that I have seen close up are:

Stonehenge (Much smaller than expected) and
The Pyramids at Giza (Absolutely, mind numbingly humungous.)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 8, 2020, 7:46 pm

Stonehenge is not only smaller than expected, the heelstone is right up against a busy road. It’s like a Texaco station.

There are other neolithic sites in Britain that are cooler.

Comment from Formerly known as Skeptic
Time: July 8, 2020, 8:33 pm

The Rushmore Monument is huge, but still dwarfed by the mountains it is carved into. I visited once when my Daughter was living in Rapid City. As for how they carved the faces, they used a model and exacting measurements translated to the mountaintop. If I recall, Borglum used a swing arm mounted on top of the hill – measure out the arm and then down the length of a hanging rope to get a precise point in space to match one measured from the scale model. Ingenious.

Comment from Stephen Falken
Time: July 10, 2020, 5:27 am

For those making travel plans to visit Yellowstone, Little Big Horn, Mt Rushmore, and the Badlands I’ll point out that roughly in the middle of those all those points on a map is Devils Tower. Also, there is a lot of space in between them and not a short drive.

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