Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pactola Lake and Mount Rushmore

We decided to take a drive to check out some of the lakes for possible kayaking later in the week.

Once you get out of the main section of Rapid City, you are in forest areas. More great scenery.

We stopped at Lake Pactola to take some pictures and went into the vistor center. The Lake is the largest reservoir in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Under it is the submerged town of Pactola and an old mining camp from back in the 1870's. Rapid City also had a really bad flood and some areas were not rebill and made into parks. So they have quite a few parks through the center of town. We also went by another lale called Sheridan Lake which we are thinking of kayaking this week.

We decided as we were in the area to go ahead and go to Mount Rushmore. You see pictures of it but it is really awesome to see in person. It was really interesting to read about how it started and how the sculpturing was done. It took 14 years to complete but only 6 and a half years of actual work due to weather amd monetary shortfalls. At first it was to have Old West heros carved into the granite spires of the Needles area in the 1020's and the idea was to promote tourism. Then Gutzon Borglum, a noted artist was convinced to get involved. He was the one who thought of having carvings of Presidents and using a southerly facing body of granite (for proper illumination by the sun) in the Keystone area. It then becamemore of a memorial and Borglum insisted that vistors never be charged to see the sculputure. Though these days there is a parking fee. Most of the sculpting was done by specialized methods for blasting and shaping the granite. There were also smaller models of the 4 Presidents and then measurements ajusted for the actual sculptures.

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