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--- Postcard From The Wordy Explorers ---

Can You Visualize a Carving Like Mount Rushmore?

avatar   Stacy

Posted On 10/28/2020 09:27:31

South Dakota | Custer | Custer State Park | Needles Highway | Cathedral Spires | Needles Eye Tunnel | Mount Rushmore | Hiking

Can You Visualize a Carving Like Mount Rushmore?


The original inspiration for a carving the likes of Mount Rushmore actually came from the Cathedral Spires on Needles Highway in Custer State Park. While stopped on the highway due to car trouble back in 1923, a South Dakota Historian had the vision that he thought would bring tourists to the state. After working with others including the eventual Mount Rushmore sculptor, it was determined that other minerals mixed with the granite made it unsuitable for carving!

     The Wordy Explorers

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Do you have any anxiety when passing through narrow tunnels?

We drove the Needles Highway during our summer visit to Custer State Park. It's a 14-mile section of road in the northwestern part of the park. The tunnels on this highway are really narrow plus they have low roofs as well. The Needles Eye Tunnel is only 8' wide and the roof of the Hood Tunnel measures only 9' 8" from the ground. It's easy to understand why some people might get anxious - and waiting your turn to get through may make it even worse.

Building the road in 1922 required 150,000 pounds of dynamite and 2 years of time. The highway twists and turns as it winds past meadows and forests of pine to the namesake towering granite peaks that resemble needles. We didn't have time to hike the Cathedral Spires Trail, but we did score one of the coveted parking spaces near the trailhead. We walked just a short distance to get a feel for the maze of huge granite spires that were actually the original inspiration for what is now Mount Rushmore!

What are your biggest concerns when taking road trips?

#WordyExplorers #SouthDakota #custer #CusterSouthDakota #CusterStatePark #NeedlesHighway #NeedlesEyeTunnel #CathedralSpires #MountRushmore #hiking #RoadTrip

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