September 30, 2006 - Mount Rushmore National Monument

When we were last at Mount Rushmore in 1997 there were two parking lots, one close to the monument that you paid for and one further away that was free.  The free lot was gone, but the $8 parking permit works all of the calendar year.

Here is our first view of the mountain:

Closer views.

We took the trail close to the mountain.  There were some very informative signs on the four presidents along the way.  We also got a closer look at most of the faces.

We found out this was the last evening program for the year, including the lighting ceremony.  We decided to come back for it and get something for dinner.  On the way out we saw mountain goats grazing by the entrance.  We spent the summer in Alaska and didn't see any mountain goats.  Of course we didn't have the camera ready and did not see mountain goats again in our visit to the Black Hills.

After dinner we came back to Mount Rushmore and Bill brought the tripod for the camera.  The evening program is a very patriotic affair, which is very appropriate for Mount Rushmore since it is a very patriotic place.  After a while they started to bring the lights up on the mountain, this first picture was the first one that came out on the camera:

More light:

Even more:

Finally the lights were on full:

These pictures look different as Bill tried different settings on the camera and different digital enhancements.  He was glad to have the tripod to make the picture work.


All veterans in attendance were asked to introduce themselves at the ceremony, there were many.  It was a great experience to be at the evening program.

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