Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rushing to Rushmore - Day 3

We got off to a bit of a late start this morning, maybe the driving is catching up to us, or maybe it was the heavy rain bathing Casper that made it hard to lift our eyelids. Either way, we dragged ourselves out of bed and stumbled into a Starbucks to fuel up and plan out our drive for the day. We befriended the baristas and it turned out one of them grew up in La Habra - not too far from where I was born - small world! In the end, we decided to press on and make the trek to South Dakota where Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse National Monument were waiting for us.

Just as everyone had told us, the drive from WY into SD was absolutely breathtaking. We made a few impromptu photo stops along the way including: a Stagecoach Museum, a herd of wild horses running along the highway (I can check that off the "dream come true" list!) and a few bulls that Allyson tried to pet (unfortunately they don't take too kindly to strangers).

Some of you may not know, but Mt. Rushmore was my main destination of this road trip. It's been on my list for quite a while, so needless to say, I was excited and anxious to get there - especially since since our day had started so late. Well, it turned out that daylight should have been the least of my concerns, Mother Nature had another trick up her sleeve. This time...FOG!

Yes, it's true, we walked up the flag lined pathway to the monument that had been calling to me from thousands of miles away, only to find it covered in a blanket of fog. I, of course, did not immediately see the irony in the situation - how dare this weather impose on my itinerary! We waited for a while, hoping the fog would clear and give us a quick glimpse, but to no avail. A nice tour guide tried to make lemonade from lemons by holding a pamphlet behind our heads for a photo.

Determined not to let Mother Nature even out the score (recall our drive out of Salt Lake), we chose to leave and check out Crazy Horse, then come back to Rushmore. Our plan proved successful. Crazy Horse peeked his head out of the clouds just as we were pulling up and Mt Rushmore fought off the fog for the rest of the night.

Score: Thelma and Louise - 2 points
           Mother Nature - 0 points!!!

Click here for photo album