Thursday, August 14, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

Dear BCs,

What trip to the Black Hills would be complete without a visit to Mount Rushmore? I spent a wonderful morning there yesterday. The sculpture is more beautiful and more impressive than I'd expected and the story of its creation more fascinating. (Did you know that Jefferson used to be on Washington's right?) Later that night, I returned to the monument to experience the very moving lighting ceremony and film presentation. The four presidential faces on the mountain are slowly lit as America the Beautiful plays in the background. It's enough to bring tears to your eyes. Speaking of facial features, take a closer look at the photo of me with George, Tom, Teddy and Abe [above] and see if you can figure out what those four guys are missing.

That's right . . . no ears! In the model in the sculptor's studio, Abraham Lincoln definitely had a left ear. But apparently money ran short, and when Congress was approached for additional funds, they woudn't hear of it and refused to earmark any more money for the project. I guess you could say the four Presidents are destined to remain stone deaf.

After yesterday's historic and patriotic interlude, today I was back visiting another of our country's phenomenal national parks. This time, it was the less well known and less visited Badlands National Park. Wow! Kind of surreal rock formations, and really lovely. As stark as the landscape appears, nevertheless it's still home to many species of wildlife, including rattlesnakes and prairie dogs. Fortunately, I spotted many of the latter and none of the former.

However, the most amazing creature I saw today was not in the national park. I actually encountered this new animal after I caught a quick lunch at the famous Wall Drug Store in the town nearest to the park, Wall, SD. This time it was not an animal in the wild, but a domesticated creature known as a Jackalope. Quite amazing, actually. If you're not familiar with them, you should know that Jackalopes are a cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope. They're native to Wyoming and South Dakota. They're fast, they can jump high and you can ride them! Well, just another fabulous experience that I hope you all have a chance to enjoy some time.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end . . . I'm headed home in several days, so this may be the last you hear from me during the Olympic break. It's certainly been quite an adventure!! See you soon back in our nation's capital.

Best, Petey

Photo Credits: Traveling Panda Photos, Inc.


At 3:11 AM, Blogger xwomynjoc said...

I've traveled the same roads that Petey has traveled and to see those sights again has brought back some amazing memories. That Petey for the great shots and hope to see you'll soon.

At 3:13 AM, Blogger xwomynjoc said...

I meant to say "thanks"


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