photos by Marilyn Angel Wynn/Nativestock.com
The creation of Mount Rushmore is a story of struggle -- and to some, desecration. The Black Hills, or Paha Sapa, are the sacred homelands to the Lakota Sioux and other American Indian tribal nations. For some, the four presidents carved in the hill are not without negative symbolism.
As a photographer, I was lucky to be invited to hike behind this most famous of all sculptures in America! To capture a rare view of what most tourists never get to see. Early one morning, I along with a few other hikers silently followed the trail through a sweetly scented ponderosa forest in the Black Hills of South Dakota, listening to birdsong and the cracking of twigs beneath our footsteps.
About ten minutes later, we passed beyond a high-security fence then scrambled up a few steep boulders and squeezed through pine branches. Wobbly stepping stones guided us into a granite crevice that runs behind the presidential heads— reminding me of an "Indiana Jones style" secret entrance. We stopped, looked up and dropped our mouths with unbelievable awe. There on the other side of the presidential sculptures, to my absolute amazement, was a surprising view that I could never have imagined.
Posted below is the photo taken during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.