Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mt Rushmore

Admittedly, I have not been much of a Mt Rushmore fan. At least not since it went modern. I'm old enough to remember the 'old' Mt. Rushmore when it's surroundings were much more natural. I understand why it had to be modernized, it just lost alot of it's charm, for me.

We decided to shoot Mt Rushmore at night with the lights flooding the monument. So after our Fillet Mignon dinner in Hill City we headed out. The first pleasant surprise was the free parking as no one was at the entrance to take out money. The second surprise was the parking structure was completely empty and the third surprise was there wasn't a soul to be seen the whole time we were there, except two people who looked lost in the parking lot as we were heading back to the car.

The temps were hovering around freezing which probably kept people away and at this time of year the sun sets around 4:15 so it was long after dark when we arrived at about 8:40. There is something special about having a popular destination like this all to yourself. There's a quiet and peacefulness you get to experience. We had heard the lights go off at 9:00 so we worked rather quickly. The wind was blowing which kept the flags in motion as we made our long exposures. I like being able to capture the wind this way as it gives you a physical sense of actually being there.

As 9:00 rolled around I stood watching the monument waiting for the lights to shut off and fade from the mountain. But they never did. We joked that they must have sensors sensing our presence and leaving them on while we were there or people meant 9:00 Pacific Time when they go off. A little after 9:00 it was time to head back to the car and return to our hotel room.

In the end I was really glad we went there. It was an experience I doubt I'll ever have again at Mt. Rushmore.



  1. Hey Roger,

    Hope you are having a good time on your trip! I love your photos! My parents live out in the Black Hill so we travel out there at least twice a year.

  2. Thanks Andrea and yes, we had a great time. The Badlands are a fun place to visit and not to far from Minnesota either.