Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 55 miles roundtrip; about 1.5 hours total. Walking about 1 mile throughout the day; indoors and out along groomed paths; standing up to 1 hour at a time in museums and outdoors; some stairs.
At the hotel, the breakfast buffet will include eggs, breakfast meats and potatoes, plus fruit juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.
Under the guidance of our expert Group Leader, we’ll explore the United States’ Shrine of Democracy – Mount Rushmore. Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the creator of Mount Rushmore, wrote: “The purpose of the memorial is to communicate the founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States with colossal statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.” Borglum intended his monumental sculpture to be not only a memorial to four of our greatest Presidents, but a Shrine to Democracy. Why these four? Washington led the nascent United States to win independence from Great Britain. Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence. Roosevelt the “trust buster” ensured the rights of working people and was instrumental in building the Panama Canal. Lincoln led the country through the Civil War. Borglum began work in 1927 and continued until his death in 1941, when his son, Lincoln Borglum, took it on and ended work later that year. If you wish, feel free to expand your exploration of Mount Rushmore with an independent short walk on the Presidential Trail to Borglum’s studio. Interpretive signage along the way will illuminate more about the monument, its construction, and the artist whose vision produced one of America’s most iconic symbols. Next, we'll head down the mountain to the former mining town of Keystone for lunch.
At a local lodge nestled along a meadow in Keystone sits the K Bar S Lodge, looking out at the profile of George Washington on Mount Rushmore. The lunch buffet will include entrée, sides, and a non-alcoholic beverage.
Back aboard the motorcoach with our Group Leader, we’ll venture into the heart of Keystone, the home of Laura's little sister, Carrie, later in life. Carrie Ingalls came to Keystone, South Dakota, in 1911 at age 41 as a seasoned newspaper manager. She eventually married widower David N. Swanzey, best known for his part in the naming of Mount Rushmore, and who also had been a worker in the carving of the monument. Carrie lived out her days in Keystone for 35 years and was laid to rest in De Smet Cemetery alongside family. While here, we will visit The Keystone Historical Museum where our program will come full circle as we learn about the later years of some of Laura's family members, and view a collection of Ingalls family memorabilia. Have your water shoes ready! We will splash in a local creek, just like young pioneer kids. We’ll then return to the hotel via motorcoach.
At the hotel, we'll celebrate a week full of adventure and learning with a casual farewell buffet dinner with entrée, sides, and dessert, plus a non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase. Share some of your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.
At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.