So turns out that carving 60-feet high presidential faces into the side of a ragged, spectacular mountain is totally breathtaking! It's so amazing and the whole memorial they've built, which wasn't there when Coop visited as a kid, is pretty cool. I could hardly take my eyes off of it, just blown away that they'd actually been able to do that. Learning how they did it (like how he had a smaller model which was still like 12 feet tall that he would go back to and figure out how to change any time they accidentally blew too much rock off and you know, needed to figure out how to make sure Washington still had a nose or something) only made it more impressive). By the end supposedly they had got so good at knowing how to do it, that they could blast it so perfectly they didn't need to come back and carve or touch up anything. With how smooth their faces are, that's just crazy.
Love the flags of all the states. Of course, we had to find Oregon and North Dakota.
And love these two pics of the kids. In the second, dude is like, "all right, not sure why I'm sitting on this wall anymore...what to do next? Hmmm..."
And after quite a bit of work by M and her helpful daddy, M was sworn in as a Jr. Park Ranger (she solemnly swore to protect all the natural resources of the park and something) and awarded her the much-coveted badge. J had chosen not to do the legwork because she wanted to sketch (although I think the real reason was she was being to shy to talk to the park rangers). Actually we all learned quite a bit. They had some fascinating displays and man, sculpting that mountain was pretty insane! They had this station where kids could push down the whatever it's called to blow the dynamite on the mountain with a little screen in front of them that showed an explosion while they did. Dude was terrified of that room and kept talking about the scary people. Finally, after nearly an hour, I figured out that he thought for some crazy reason that the sound of the explosion was actually a bunch of people yelling "ROAR." Not being able to see where the people were hiding was seriously freaking him out. Never could convince him otherwise. When I tried, he got suspicious that they were really tigers and I don't think that helped him feel better so I gave up and we left.
SO worth the trip! We highly recommend it to anyone and hey, if you do come, let us know and we'll come too! Now that we have a Jr. Park Ranger in the family, we can show you around :)
Next time we hope to see Crazy Horse too!