Mount Rushmore….boggles the spirit and mind

September 7, 2010 Evolutionary

South Dakota is an absolutely beautiful state and the people are so friendly.  Yesterday, on another gloriously blue, sunny day, I went to Mount Rushmore as it was one of the

On approach - awe-inspiring!

things that triggered this entire journey.  I’ve always wanted to see our Presidents’ faces carved into rock by dangling artists in the 30’s and 40’s.  It’s not far from Rapid City but it takes about 30 minutes to get into the Black Hills.  There’s a final bend before reaching the monument that opens back up with the faces in full view.  My chin hit the gas pedal already in awe of what appeared before my eyes.   More teaser glimpses as I drove a little closer to the monument, but the real jaw-dropper was walking through the plaza of 50 flags that unfolds onto the Grand View Terrace.  And, there it was…this larger than life sculptor’s vision hanging above the onlookers, symbolically standing guard over the whole of the U.S..

Entering the Monument

Along the President’s Trail, there were many views as it took me up the ridge.  Then, the eagles began to soar around the faces and it was a once-in-a-lifetime magical moment.  Again, like many times on this trip – now 3 1/2 weeks long! – I was reminded of the power of Infinite Spirit that can do anything through any one of us.  The sculptor had a vision and it was realized over many years down to the last detail of George Washington’s lapel, the waves in Teddy Roosevelt’s moustache, the familiar curve of Lincoln’s lips, the strong serenity in Jefferson’s face, the pupils in all the Presidents’ eyes.  I wonder – what are the gifts that I’ve been given that I’m not, in return, giving to the world?  To even ponder this for a moment breaks my heart.  What about you?

Mountain Goats being Mountain Goats

It was hard to leave the magnificence of this larger-than-life gift to the world, but on the walk out of the monument, there was a small crowd

Best View - amazing!

 hushed into complete silence watching a family of mountain goats very close on the hillside.  The goats were delightful and apparently unafraid of us.  We watched the 3 of them as a group for 10 minutes grazing the grasses, adding to another familiar theme – mountain goats being mountain goats.  How simple.

On the way down the mountain, I stumbled across Horsethief Lake, a thoroughly tranquil place.  Isn’t that a great name – Horsethief Lake?!  It was so peaceful to meander along the beautiful path.  At one point, a duck joined me, sitting right next to me while I meditated and absorbed the sounds.  I picked up the sounds of kids having fun fishing all around.  In fact, I heard the adults laughing and having the same kind of child-like fun.  I

Stunning Horsethief Lake Black Hills

also heard echoes from all across the lake, “thank you,” “having a good day,” “excuse me,” “have fun.”  Such respect and getting along – this has struck me so poignantly throughout Washington, Vancouver and all across Montana, Idaho and South Dakota.  It’s just as true right here in Sioux City, Iowa, especially by my server who was so happy to deliver my 6 baby-backs at Dave’s Delicious Bar-B-Que.  The smiles and the food were outstanding.  Is it healthy to live on top of each other without acknowledging one another like we do in LA?  I guess we can only do our part to consciously see God in those who cross our path.  It seems only the tiniest of drops.

The drive out of South Dakota was in completely stormy weather.  There was so much rain at times that it was necessary to come to a crawl on the freeway.  And, I saw several significant funnel clouds and thought…yep, I’m in tornado country.  The weather was a good change to the empty vastness of the past week because, in and of itself, it provided so many picturesque cloudscapes while animating the landscape in a much deeper way than with pure bright sunlight.  The good news is that with summer and Labor Day over, hotel/motel rates have been cheaper for unsold rooms and are really cheap now by comparison.

My Friend.

Had to stop in Wall, South Dakota.

Just under the noses.

I’ve missed being able to stay in monasteries the last week – maybe a little more – but am looking forward to a 3 day stay at Unity Village in Kansas City, Missouri tomorrow and hope to stay in Mount Carmel Center in Dallas.

Beyond Delicious at Dave's.

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Entry Filed under: Happiness, Love, Meditation, Montana, Pilgrimage, South Dakota, Spirituality, Travel

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sue&hellip  | 

    Mark – Is Unity Village anywhere near that property that was for sale in Missouri? Maybe you might be interested in taking a little side trip as long as you are in the neighborhood…

  • 2. Gena&hellip  | 

    Wow – you’re really moving along! I’d love to see Mt. Rushmore – the closest I’ve gotten is seeing “North by Northwest” at least ten times.
    Safe journeys.

  • 3. oneofgod&hellip  | 

    Yes, it seems so now. But, I also think, “wow, it’s took me 3 weeks just to leave the west coast.” But, there’s no hurry, and not much but scenery in the middle of the country. all of it is gorgeous!

  • 4. Pat Willson&hellip  | 

    These photos are incredible. Your phone is taking these? Wow, what kind of phone do you have? I took my dog and camped all along this area. The Black Hills are haunting. Got my dog’s picture with Rushmore in the background. I think of Eve St Marie
    hanging off one of the president’s noses when I look at it. Blessings on the remainder of your trip.

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