October 26, 2009

Roadtrip: Final Leg

Posted in Look tagged , , at 8:33 pm by onetinyacorn

Mount Rushmore is one of those ubiquities in American culture that I was not too keen on visiting, but it was right there, and my mom wanted to visit. The one aspect that I was interested in was its inclusion in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, but it’s not mentioned within the park itself. I did have to visit the dining room, and of course it’s totally different now. The U.S. government promised these lands to the Native Americans, then carved the faces of 4 U.S. presidents into that same land, using rocks that Native Americans find sacred. That encapsulates U.S. history pretty well, I think.

What really shocked me was that I had never heard of or seen pictures of Crazy Horse Monument until this trip. Really? The world’s largest mountain carving, just a few miles from Mount Rushmore, and I’ve remained unaware of it for 30 years? It’s an interesting story: they refuse to accept any funding from the government for the project, so it is funded entirely by donations and profits from admissions and concessions.

September 15, 2009

Wyoming Territorial Prison

Posted in Look tagged , , , at 1:38 pm by onetinyacorn

When people come to visit, there are a handful of things that I like to show them: the art museum, sculptures, Snowy Mountain range, Vedauwoo, and the Wyoming Territorial Prison. The prison was in use in the late 1800’s, and counted Butch Cassidy among its colorful inhabitants. The site includes the restored prison, which highlights the compelling stories about its prisoners, a broom factory where they worked, the warden’s house, and quite a bit more. My favorite areas are the exhibits about the female prisoners, and the working platen press. If you find yourself in Laramie, Wyoming, it’s definitely worth a visit.

May 10, 2009

Westward, Ho! Herbert Hoover

Posted in Look tagged , , , , at 2:53 pm by onetinyacorn

Herbert Hoover’s birthplace is located less than a mile off of I-80, in West Branch, Iowa, and made an interesting little stop. First I bought this sweet passport to the national parks; it contains a map of the U.S., with the national parks and historic sites marked. The passport is divided by geographic region, and describes some highlights in greater detail. It has a place for me to stamp the passport with every site I visit. Since I love a good road trip, I figured it would be a good way to plan detours or destinations when traveling.

Things I Learned About Herbert Hoover

* He was born in a two-room cottage

* He was Quaker, and his mother spoke often at Quaker meetings

* His father was a blacksmith

* He may or may not have attended the one-room schoolhouse that you see pictured below

* The statue below is the Statue of Isis, a donation from Belgium

We didn’t go into the Presidential Library (I know, I know!), but I’m pretty interested in how they treat the subject of his presidency. Sarah Vowel has a piece on This American Life about this topic here (episode 167).

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