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All American Across the USA

We have had several  ‘All American’ sightings across the USA.  The most recent photos come from Mount Rushmore, the Badlands and Great Sand Dunes National Park.  Have you visited someplace really cool lately?  If so, send us your pictures! Email us at [email protected] and tell us your story.

mt rushmore Quick facts about Mount Rushmore:

  • It took 14 years and 400 men to carve the mountain. Despite harsh and dangerous conditions, no one died during the project.
  • Mount Rushmore cost nearly one million dollars and was mostly carved during the Great Depression.
  • Over 90% of Mount Rushmore was carved using dynamite. The blasts removed approximately 450,000 tons of rock. Details were finished with jackhammers and hand chisels.
  • The faces of Mount Rushmore are 60 feet high. That’s the same size as a six-story building.
  • Thomas Jefferson’s face on Mount Rushmore was originally started on the opposite side of George Washington, but 18 months into the carving, they realized the granite was too weak. His face was dynamited off and carved on the other side.

 

 

The BadLands, South Dakota:

badlandsThe Lakota gave this land its name, “Mako Sica,” meaning “land bad.” Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. It is desolation at its truest, where you can look for miles and see no sign of civilization.

This land has been so ruthlessly ravaged by wind and water that it has become picturesque. The Badlands are a wonderland of bizarre, colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes and deep gorges. Erosion of the Badlands reveals sedimentary layers of different colors: purple and yellow (shale), tan and gray (sand and gravel), red and orange (iron oxides) and white (volcanic ash).

Badlands National Park also preserves the world’s greatest fossil beds of animals from the Oligocene Epoch of the Age of Mammals. The skeletons of ancient camels, three-toed horses, saber-toothed cats and giant rhinoceros-like creatures are among the many fossilized species found here. All fossils, rocks, plants and animals are protected and must remain where you find them. Prehistoric bones are still being uncovered today by park officials.

 

ben_co_dunesGreat Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado:

A sandbox of epic proportions, the entire dune field encompasses 30 square miles and the tallest dune towers 750 feet high. The kid in every visitor loves to sled down the sand year-round and plunge into the soft-sand tracks of those who climbed ahead of them. Aside from the dunes, you’ll find picnicking, hiking and camping opportunities, the challenging four-wheel scenic drive on Medano Pass, horseback-riding trails, the mysteriously appearing and disappearing Medano Creek, ranger-led nature walks and a couple of 14,000- and 13,000-foot peaks to climb.ben_co_dunes_2

 

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