An item that’s wavered on my list for a while has been “Meet the/a President.” It’s not officially on the list, but still always in the back of my mind. In ways, I feel like I’ve met the goal already.
In May of 2010 I took a trip with a couple friends to South Dakota. My good friend grew up there, so it was somewhat of a reunion for her and a completely new experience for me. We planned activities we’re seldom able to do in Florida, if at all: hiking, horseback riding through a mountain, camping, roasting marshmallows, driving down windy roads, oohing and aahhing at Mount Rushmore, gambling, and petting buffalo. Ok, we didn’t really pet buffalo. But we had a few buffalo burgers. I’ve gotta say, I’m not a fan.
Anyway, we stayed a few nights in the small town of Rapid City before making our way to Mount Rushmore. The city features statues of all the Presidents past, so we had great fun posing with each and every one.
When we finally saw Mount Rushmore, I was impressed. It’s truly breathtaking and worth a visit. I couldn’t believe the wave of patriotism that washed over me as I stood directly in front of the masterpiece. The museum they have there does an excellent job describing the difficulty of so precisely blasting the side of a mountain piece by piece. The spectacle wasn’t created with a computer or lasers; this thing was made by packs of dynamite, dedicated workers hanging by threads, and sheer bravery.
If visiting Mount Rushmore (or meeting a President) is on your list, I encourage you to visit the Black Hills of South Dakota. It’s a great vacation for outdoorsy types. Definitely go starting in June when the weather is nice and there is a decent amount of tourists. Those little towns in that area thrive solely on tourism, so most things are shut down any time before early summer.