Tag Archives: Mount Rushmore

Complete 2012 Western Road Trip


Over a year later, I have finally finished my recap of our 2012 road trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Thank you for hanging in there with me as I wrote these last posts about our trip. I couldn’t start writing about this summer’s adventures without closing out last spring’s fun.

So here it is, in one post, our complete 2012 Western Road Trip!

The Badlands

Mount Rushmore

Devils Tower

Arriving in Yellowstone

Mammoth Hot Springs

Our First Grizzly Bears

More Wildlife and the Hayden Valley

Sulphur Caldron and Mud Volcano

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

The Lamar Valley

Evening Wildlife Watching

Artist Paintpots

Baby Bison!

Lower Geyser Basin

Old Faithful

Leaving Yellowstone

A Grand Visitor Center

Grand Teton Home Base

Mormon Row

Early Morning Drive

Wildlife in Grand Teton

Rainy Days in a National Park

2012 Western Road Trip: Mount Rushmore

After browsing around Wall Drug, Jason and I jumped back on the interstate to continue west towards Mount Rushmore. It should have been a boring drive, but casualty #2 happened…

I hadn’t called my mom with a location update yet, so I gave her a call just outside of Wall (Ha! I rhymed  🙂 ). So, I’m chatting with my mom. She was so excited that we were visiting Mount Rushmore, which is very high on her bucket list. Then BAM! One of those stupid road-swooping birds slammed right into the windshield in front of my face. We shook off our second death of the day and refocused on our next destination.

Mount Rushmore is outside of Rapid City near the small town of Keystone. For my Wisconsin readers, Keystone is a lot like the Wisconsin Dells (minus a few water parks). It was an… intriguing area to say the least.

Laura at Mount Rushmore

First thought upon seeing Mount Rushmore – It was smaller than we expected.

Trees Framing Mount Rushmore

I can imagine the President’s are massive up close, and we did get a sense of that walking the Presidential Trail, which takes you to the base of the mountain.

Presidential Close-Up

The Avenue of Flags, Grand View Terrace, visitor center, and surrounding shops were beautiful! We wanted to spot the Wisconsin flag along the Avenue of Flags. Each pillar showcases four states. We saw that the years of states being added to the union were listed and immediately assumed that they were in date order. Jason and I looked at each other in confusion – When did Wisconsin become a state? Upon further inspection, we realized that the states were in alphabetical order. Hee hee  😕

Wisconsin in South Dakota

30th State in the Union

Then I felt like a bad UW alum. I should have known 1948.

We spent some time looking at the carving and then walked the Presidential Trail, which, as I said before, takes you to the base of the mountain. We also visited the Sculptor’s Studio – Now that’s a building with a view!

Beautiful weather and a lack of any crowd made our visit incredibly pleasant.

Up next… Devil’s Tower!

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