We spent the 4th of July at Mount Rushmore. It's all well and good for an impressive Facebook status, but to be honest, the park wasn't our favorite. There was no going off the paved and commercialized trail--not even a little bit. (It seemed like every other stone on the path was "sponsored" by one "freedom patron" or another.)
While it poured rain, we watched a film that emphasized the featured presidents' commitment to individual liberties. The irony wasn't lost on my eight year old. "Sooo, we're celebrating freedom, but they don't give us any freedom and make us stay on the same little trail the whole time?"
Still, I'm glad we made the stop. The mountain is a colossal work of art, and it was amazing to learn about the craftsmen and master artist behind it. And you know, the whole patriotic Facebook check-in thing doesn't hurt either.
|Photo credit: The 8 year old|
|An old filling station in Lead|
The town was quaint and inviting, yet rough around the edges, with a vintage toughness and tenacity to it. We made friends with some biker chicks in the line for lemonade, and then settled in for the fireworks.
My favorite part of the 4th of July would've been the same whether we'd laid out a blanket on a grassy patch in an Ohio parking lot or stood on a pier in Maine or fought through the crowds at the national mall in DC. It was when, in a small town in South Dakota, my kids leaned in (one on my lap, one under my arm), looked up, and marveled at what they'd later describe--before dozing crooked-necked in their car seats--as the "best fireworks ever."