Last weekend we went to South Dakota to take in the sights of Mount Rushmore. Ever since I met Shane, he’s had a strong desire to go see this historic site (and pretty much any other historic site) so for Christmas this year, I promised him a trip when the weather was nicer. Since the wedding is over and this baby’s due date seems to be right around the corner, we thought we may as well get it in now. It’s only about a 6 hour drive from where we are and I found a pretty cheap hotel so Friday afternoon after work, we headed through Wyoming to South Dakota.
Neither of us had ever been to the state before and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the views and scenery. There wasn’t too much to do in Rapids City (where we were staying) but since we were just there for the monument, it wasn’t a huge deal. Our hotel was about a 20 minute drive from Mount Rushmore and since we are usually pretty early risers, we took our time along the way to stop at a few places.
Although this is probably not a trip I would have ever planned if it weren’t for Shane, I have to admit that seeing such an iconic monument was a little awe-inspiring. Granted, it is a bit far to go just to look at something you’ve probably seen photographed or on TV a hundred times, but it was cooler than I thought it would be.
It was pretty crazy to be able to see the mountain from the road and I was a little nervous that Shane would get a little too excited and drive us right off the side of the hill.
The only thing that we had to pay for was $11 for parking which didn’t seem too steep. We opted not to get the audio tour recording and just wander around on our own.
There are a couple different trails and we did the Presidential one. It wasn’t too long but there were quite a few sets of stairs so I made sure to take some
breathing photography breaks.
After Mount Rushmore, we headed another 20 minutes out to Crazy Horse. I had heard great things about it but I was a little disappointed. I do think that it will be amazing once it is completed but they are a long way from that point and it just felt like they were trying to get money from everyone who drove through the gate. We had to pay $10 per person just to enter the grounds (you can’t see anything from the road, unlike Mt Rushmore) and then it cost about $4 per person to take the bus up to the memorial itself. I know that’s not too expensive but I just didn’t like that it felt as if we were paying for the view, step by step.
Once it is complete, however, it will be pretty impressive and I guess it’s cool to be able to say that we say it during construction.
It was sort of a random trip but we had a good time and it was nice to take a little vacation, just the two of us. My family used to do a bit of road tripping when we were growing up so this definitely reminded me of those days. Unfortunately I’ve been having quite a bit of lower back pain (this has been a problem for me in the past and it seems like the third trimester has made it flare up again) so the long car ride didn’t do me any favors. I’ve been taking it pretty easy on the workouts since I want to be able to do the Bolder Boulder in a week and a half. I went to see my doctor today about it and hopefully it starts feeling a little better because I’ve been limping around lately and people are starting to give me weird looks .
Have you ever been to Mount Rushmore?
Did you do lots of road trip vacations when you were growing up?