Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where bad is good!

If you ask me why you should go to South Dakota, to see Mt. Rushmore would NOT be my answer. Oh sure it was impressive, but it didn't take my breath away. Maybe because I too often lean toward the side of being a realist, or maybe because I'm a lover of nature as God saw fit to create it and allows it to continually take new shape and form. Or maybe it's because I know that the faces that are carved in the side of that mountain represent just men.

Granted, they did more than the ordinary man to shape this great nation, but it was only by God's grace that they were able to do great things and be elevated, by other men, past ordinary into a stone memorial. If we were to carve into the mountains the face of every man or woman who ever did something great for this country, there would be no mountains left. America if full of unsung heroes.

I admire the many men who worked so hard to accomplish the task of sculpting a mountain, but for some reason their work doesn't make me want to sing praises or bow and worship the God who created all things. It did make me feel grateful though.

It's just my opinion, but I suggest you go to South Dakota to see the beautiful grasslands, the Black Hills mountains, and the Badlands. Oh, and while you are there, don't forget to visit Mt. Rushmore.

From Key West to Seattle, Maine to southern California, this country holds so many beautiful places. A few have taken my breath and put tears in my eyes--made me sing praises and worship the creator. Just to mention a couple of them--Niagara Falls, NY and The Badlands, SD. (The day we went to the Grand Canyon, it was so foggy and snowing so hard you couldn't see the road, or even the front of the truck, so my list is not complete I'm sure.) Both those places gave me goosebumps as I gazed and pondered the power and imagination of THE GOD who creates such beautiful things.

I'm only going to post a *few pictures because our internet access at this campground will only allow me so much bandwidth for a 48 hour time period. Since I don't have a clue about what all that means, and since I'm already at almost 50% of my allowance, I don't want to use it all up, just in case hubby might need it for work. (And just in case I might get to Skype with the grandkids.)

Another reason I'm only going to post a few--I can't decide which pictures are my favorite. So I'll show you  some and give you a link to my Photobucket so you can see them all if you want. I hope you enjoy them--I sure did enjoy taking them! I promise if you don't take a little time to look at some of the others, you will be missing out. We were going to take a quick drive through the area, but once we got in there, we were captivated. No quick drive through would do!

*Yes, this is a FEW since few is a relative term as in comparison to the number I COULD have posted.
Click here for my whole Badlands collection. 

We had an overnight stop in Mitchell, SD--the home of the Corn Palace. This time of year, undergoes its annual "redecoration" but there was enough of last year's design still up that I was able to get some pictures. If you've never heard of the Corn Palace--in short--it is a building that takes on a new look every year, decorated with corn and straw and other such natural materials.
Yes all those pictures and words are made from various kinds and colors of corn cobs placed just so. Pretty amazing.

Whew, what a remarkable two day drive.

Now here we are in Nebraska and I barely got this post done before we are have to pack up and go again. You know by now that we really never know how long we will be any one place, but it looks as if we will be here only a few more days until...

Yeah, bold and dashing.


Monday, June 28, 2010

George, Tom, Abe, Teddy, and Crazy Horse

Here are more pictures from our little day trip to Mt. Rushmore that I promised. Sorry it has taken me so long. We were on the road two days, and the other days (How many days has it been?) I've been doing laundry, talking to my kids on the phone, recovering from changing time zones again, and just...I don't know what I've been doing. It's funny how all this bold and dashing life stuff can slip from my memory. One day dashes on to the next while I seem to sit and watch it go by. THAT'S what I've been doing--sittin' and watchin' life dash by.

Anyway, here ya go! Pictures of Mt. Rushmore. I know you've all seen pictures of the presidents in stone so this is nothing new. Hopefully you will still enjoy these and find a detail you've never seen before. I've included a few other things that caught my attention as well.

Along with the face of a mountain, a few other things changed over the years.
From far away, you can see more of the mountain jutting up behind the sculptures. But as you get closer, the rest of the mountain vanishes.

Have you ever seen these guys up close? I love the detail of the granite mountain.
Check out how the rock is carved to give depth to their eyes.
(Click on each picture. They should "blow up" for you.)

After doing some sightseeing in South Dakota, I've decided that if you are going to ride a motorcycle, SD is the place to do it. A lot of other people must agree. Here are a couple of unique rides we saw on our way up the mountain.

The Black Hills are full of interesting rocks and rock formations. Too many to photograph them all. You must plan a trip yourself!

These little ferns made me think of this scripture:
12Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
14The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
17And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
18Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
19And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
God, show me your glory--but hide me in a cleft of a rock and cover with me your hand.

While we were walking the self-guided tour trail, I had a moment of mental silliness. When I took this picture, my thought was...

I sure hope George doesn't have a drippy nose!

While we were looking at the presidents, this is what they were looking at.
Oh, if those stone pupils could really see!
One final glance as we said good-bye.
There is one spot after we left the monument that we were able to see Mr. Washington's profile. I thought it was pretty cool. Once again, a reminder how different things look when you change your perspective.
I kinda wonder about that scare on his nose. Do you think it is from wiping away too many drips? Hummm...If you go visit Mt. Rushmore and take the walk along the path, you might want to carry an umbrella.
Just in case.

Next we went to the Crazy Horse Memorial. It's a work in progress. A long, slow progress. You can read about it by clicking here.
It is pretty impressive. I think what is more impressive than the actual carving is the family's commitment to the project and the fact that they refuse government funding for the project. For that alone they deserve respect.

If you go to see Mount Rushmore, you might as well go see Crazy Horse too. It's just a short drive from one to the other. It is expensive to get in, but the proceeds go toward the work being done there.

Here is what it is supposed to look like once it it finished.

They still have a long way to go!
Okay, enough for today. Besides, we had to pack up and move on. My next blog post will also be a picture post--photos we took along the way as we went from Wyoming to Nebraska. We did happen to veer off the interstate for a while, and the road we were on took us through THE BADLANDS of South Dakota!

If you've seen the Badlands for yourself, (or if you are one of my husband's Facebook "friends" and have seen the pictures he already posted there) then you can either skip the next post or yawn your way through it. But if the Badlands are new to you, then these next photos are some you are not going to want to miss! And just in case the few I post here aren't enough for you, I'll put a link to my Photobucket so you can see all 149 of em'!
Check back tomorrow!