Mt. Rushmore – Bucket List Item – CHECK!

I had the awesome privilege of visiting Mt. Rushmore in May. I have wanted to take a road trip for the longest time, and this stop was top of my list.

Late last year, I started writing a young adult fantasy series and I set it around Mt. Rushmore. My husband swears I used that setting to get him to go there with me. Personally, I thought it was a great place to set a post-apocalyptic fantasy. It had nothing to do with how much I wanted to visit and now had a reason to. Really. Well, sort of.

Hubby, who doesn’t like road trips, gave me the greatest gift this year. Nine days on the road. Different sights every day. We combined a couple things. First, he spent 3 years in the Air Force stationed in Glasgow (Northwest Montana). So we went there first and I finally got to see all the things he’s been talking about for thirty years. Like Fort Peck dam, which is an almost 4 mile long earthen dam.

Then we headed south. To Sturgis (motorcycle museum)…

To Deadwood (Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane’s graves)…

Caving (where we got a flat tire driving out of the place)…

And finally, to the mountain that made it all possible. There isn’t a single picture that does this site justice. It’s larger than life and I loved it!

We also found the picturesque little lake (Horse Thief Lake) near Mt. Rushmore that my fantasy village is set near. It was so cool to see it come to life. And as soon as I got home, I started updating descriptions in my story. I even changed my hero’s eye color to match the deep green of the lake.

After wonderful weather all along, a storm caught up with us as we drove west to come home. First, in the form of pounding hail, then in snow. It made for some crazy driving conditions and we got stopped for a couple hours in a pass due to jack-knifed semi-trucks.

Even that didn’t diminish the fun I had on this trip. Hubby’s back did okay (not great, but okay) and he’s really glad he went. The only regret I have is that I realized an author friend I admire, Allie K. Adams, lived near our route home, but the snow meant cancelling the hastily set up plans to visit.

We’ll just have to plan that visit for next year. After all, we did start talking about Yellowstone National Park on the way home. I wonder if I can tweak my series so it encompasses that area, also. Lol.

I ❤ road trips! I hope you get to do something you ❤ this spring or summer, too!


11 responses to “Mt. Rushmore – Bucket List Item – CHECK!

  1. Reblogged this on Laurie Ryan's blog and commented:

    Check out where my newest story is set…thought I’d share my blog from Over The Backyard Fence.

  2. awesome trip!!! I always wanted to go there and it looks like you made the most of your time. Thanks for sharing the pics! AND glad you made it home from weather-armageddon. Seems appropriate that you had such adventures writing such a series. can’t wait to read the first book! Jillian

    • You should go. Your a huge history buff and there’s not a single picture that does that place justice. You HAVE to stand in it’s shadow. Weather-armageddon? Yep, that about describes it. I was white-knuckled for most of that day’s ride.

  3. A magnificent trip, Laurie, and especially good that you got to see the places where you have set your new series. Love the photos and the lake looks magnificent, very atmospheric. You certainly had a varied trip and equally varied experiences along the way. Good luck planning your next trip, LOL! I have every confidence in your powers of persuasion 🙂

  4. Loved the pictures. I’ve never been to Mt Rushmore. Close a few times. So great to be able to see where you’ve set the fantasy series. Ummm maybe a future trip as I love Road trips.

  5. Great trip and photos. I too am fascinated by Mt Rushmore but am unlikely to visit, won’t say never, so you took me there thank you. Book sounds great and very relevant to this period in our lives. Road trips are wonderful but Peter never too keen on idea so like you I balance things out and he always enjoys it! Men are definitely wired up differently to women! X

  6. PS what’s next on your bucket list?

    • Men ARE wired differently. Mark says he sees every mile driving away from home as a mile he has to drive to get BACK home. Lol.. Poor guy, marrying a woman who loves road trips. As for next…maybe Yellowstone National Park next year. Or a steam train near Calgary in Alberta, Canada. He’s a bit of a steam train freak. 🙂

  7. What a fabulous trip and such lovely photos. Mount Rushmore sounds an awesome place to set a novel. Look forward to reading the outcome. Never done a long road trip – one my bucket list. 🙂

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