Bear goes to Mount Rushmore

by Kim on May 30, 2012 · 40 comments

Arriving at Mt. Rushmore

At some point during our last few months in Oregon I got the notion to take Bear, our dog, to Mt. Rushmore.

I know that makes me sound crazy. But taking Bear to Mt. Rushmore meant that when we packed up the car to drive east we weren’t just driving to Ohio to deliver the dogs to their new home, we were going on vacation.  We were going to Mt. Rushmore.

So in my fragile mental state, distraught over leaving our dogs behind while we traveled, the obsession began in earnest.  

I found myself singing songs to the dog with award-worthy lyrics like: Bear, Bear, we’ll put you in the car.  Bear, Bear, we’ll drive you very far… to Mt. Rushmoreeee.   And I’d ask her incessantly, like an inquisitive five year old, Bear, do you want Mommy to take you to Mt. Rushmore?  And she’d look at me with those big doggy eyes and I could see her desperate answer.  Yes, mom. Yes.  Take me to Mt. Rushmore.  

Somewhere along the way I learned that dogs were not allowed at Mt. Rushmore.  

But I’d made a promise to Bear and that promise would not be broken.  Some way, somehow, that dog was going to see that damn mountain chiseled with the faces of dead presidents.

So we set off from Oregon and on our second night we stopped in Rapid City, waking early the next morning to make the thirty minute drive to Mt. Rushmore.  It was a beautiful route through South Dakota’s Black Hills, save for a few billboards sprinkled about the side of the road, beckoning us to VIEW THE WORLDS LARGEST BULLS HEAD and stop by the CRAZY VORTEX THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE IT.

Maybe it was the fact that it was early and I’d had only one cup of Motel 6 coffee, or maybe it was because I was actually excited to see Mt. Rushmore, but at this point I’d downgraded my expectations.  Bear didn’t need to go inside the park, she just needed to see the monument with her own doggy eyes.  And I needed to get a picture.

So we  arrived at Mt. Rushmore and left Bear and our other pooch, Macy, in the car.  Brian and I shuffled towards the monument.

As we made our way towards Mt. Rushmore we walked past an outdoor hall of flags. Each flag represents a state.

The entrance to Mt. Rushmore

After exiting the walk of flags we arrived at a viewing area.  Mt. Rushmore is striking.  Brian and I gazed in wonder, analyzing the size of Jefferson’s nose and agreeing that Washington’s eyes looked slightly vacant.  

Mt. Rushmore: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln

As we set off on the President’s Trail, an interpretive walk dotted with informative placards, I found myself enthralled with the stories of the 400 men who carved Mt. Rushmore.  I vowed to read the biographies of Jefferson and Lincoln.  Mt. Rushmore was making me a better, more educated, American.

Travel-related Presidential trivia

We spent about an hour and a half touring the grounds of Mt. Rushmore.  As we walked back to our car I hunted for the perfect spot to show Bear the monument.

And I found it.

Bear at Mt. Rushmore

Bear likes Mt. Rushmore

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia GW May 30, 2012 at 9:02 am

D’awwww :) I’m so glad you made this dream a reality, and brought Bear to see the famous monument!

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Haha, Bear loved it. Some day that photo will be framed (you know, when I own frames…)

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Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) May 30, 2012 at 9:06 am

What a great story, and I love your pictures of Mt Rushmore. Being a Canadian, I admit it’s not really one of those things I’ve ever felt a burning desire to see, but your photos have made me reconsider!

Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one who refers to herself as “Mommy” to her dogs, and makes up songs to sing to them!

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Steph, you are definitely not the only one that calls herself Mommy and sings to the dogs. I’m crazy… but I love every minute of it!

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Carmel May 30, 2012 at 9:10 am

She looks VERY happy. Good trivia question, too. I hope I get to use that at upcoming trivia nights.

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Good luck! I hope you win something with that trivia piece.

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Torre – Fearful Adventurer May 30, 2012 at 9:56 am

So gorgeous, Kim. I heart Bear.

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Oh, I heart her too. So adorable.

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Lauren May 30, 2012 at 10:45 am

Bear really looks happy to be there!

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm

I know! She was probably just happy to be out of the car ;)

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Hannah May 30, 2012 at 10:45 am

Bear needs her own blog :)

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Well, you know, Bear does have her own facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Bearrrrrrrr.

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Elizabeth Bird May 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

I agree with Hannah. I would totally read a blog devoted to bear’s travels. This is too cute.

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I wish I could take Bear around the world!! She would love it. I would totally create a blog for her if I could do that.

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Michele Crim May 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Someday remind Glenn to tell you all about the “secret vault” supposedly carved in the mountain up behind their heads…full of all sorts of wonderful government secrets!

But then, Glenn is also the guy that thinks seeing a Pug in a Winnebego while on a similar trip counted as “viewing wildlife.” I’m not sure he can be trusted.

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Michele! We heard about the secret vault when we were there. It was the vision of the guy who commissioned Mt. Rushmore to have a vault where all important government documents were kept. But they ran out of money and they guy eventually died. Then the daughter of the guy saw his vision through and created the vault. Now there are tablets with copies of the constitution stored there… or something like that.

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Michele June 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I think there might be alien bodies in there too. Just say’n.

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Kim June 2, 2012 at 6:23 am

Glenn and Brian need the shirt ;)

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Patricio May 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Kim & Brian,

I am so proud of you guys for making your dreams come alive! To bad I did not had the chance to say good bye face-to-face. Although, keep me posted with your amazing journey, my friends, play soccer all around the world, enjoy your self, and be happy!

Energy friends!

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Pato! Thank you so much!!! We definitely plan to play soccer around the world and hope that it will be one thing that will help us make friends in all of the new places we’re visiting. Thanks for your kind words :)

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Ali May 31, 2012 at 2:16 am

That is so cute! I’m glad you were able to find a way for Bear to see the monument. Awesome that you’re getting to see a little more of the US before you head off into the world!

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Kim May 31, 2012 at 7:09 am

I wish I could take Bear to all the spots that we are going to! It has been fun to see the U.S. Can’t wait to see more of it before we leave for Ecuador.

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Klaus Kommoss May 31, 2012 at 6:53 am

Bear’s opinion about those stone heads is clearly to be seen on her face. Dogs are not impressed by symbols, they want to smell and feel, just like what you are up to.

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Kim May 31, 2012 at 7:09 am

Yes, she loved it. She also loved driving across the country. She kept her head out of the window the whole time!

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Seasweetie May 31, 2012 at 7:55 am

I love it! And I love Bear, too. My daughter and I went to Mt. Rushmore last year and found it amazingly awesome. We had a lively discussion about the secret vault, and during our time in S.D., we did go to the Crazy Vortex Place which was really as freaky as advertised. But I don’t know that Bear would have liked it very much. Living vicariously through you guys these days, and can’t wait to share in the places you’ll go.

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Kim June 2, 2012 at 6:18 am

Ohhh, now I wish that we would have gone to see the vortex. What was it like??? Mt. Rushmore was pretty cool, it was better than I expected!

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Rhonda May 31, 2012 at 7:56 am

wonderful!!! I’m so glad she got to see it and that you didn’t get arrested and thrown in the pokey for trying to sneak her in as a service dog:)
We heart Bear!
Jim & Rhonda

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Kim June 2, 2012 at 6:18 am

Hahaha. I still wish we would have tried that service dog trick. It would have made for a funny story at least :)

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Rhonda June 4, 2012 at 11:39 am

haha..for sure! oh well, next time!

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Sarah Somewhere June 1, 2012 at 12:35 am

So gorgeous! I’m kind of intrigued by the CRAZY VORTEX, I mean, if there’s no place like it… :) :) Glad you got some quality time with your babies before you head off xx

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Kim June 2, 2012 at 6:22 am

Thanks Sarah. I’m sad now that I didn’t stop by the crazy vortex!

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Kelley June 1, 2012 at 10:34 am

Bear looks so stinkin’ happy to be there. I love her big cheesy smile!

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Kim June 2, 2012 at 6:22 am

I know, isn’t it adorable??? :)

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Ayngelina June 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Okay all these posts about Bear make it hard for me to see you leave too!

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Kim June 2, 2012 at 6:23 am

We are off to NYC for a five-day trial run to see how the dogs do with Brian’s parents. I know they’ll do fine, but it’s even hard to leave them for five days.

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Anne June 5, 2012 at 9:35 am

Congrats to you and Bear for making it happen! I love seeing Bear’s new bright green accessorizing :)

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Kim June 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Do you recognize that ribbon Anne??? Green is her color :)

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Luanne Zoller June 7, 2012 at 10:06 am

My grandfather was one of the 400 men that worked on Mt. Rushmore. I am from the Black Hills actually Rapid City is my hometown, grew up there, went to school there and lots of family still there. I don’t think I ever told you that. I am glad you enjoyed the Faces. Did you get to Crazy Horse? It is a must see.

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Kim June 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Luanne, I had no idea! So amazing that your grandfather worked on Mt. Rushmore. Did he tell you stories. I was pretty amazed to learn that there were no deaths while they were making Mt. Rushmore… seems pretty amazing. We did not go to Crazy Horse but I wish we would have.

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juliemarg June 21, 2012 at 11:22 am

A historic Mount Rushmore ever. That’s why there are several people keep on visiting this park.

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