The first time I ever stepped foot in South Dakota was in 1991 on vacation.

I was raised in a small town in New York with not much going on.  It was agriculturally based with a touch of tourism.  My dad didn't like to travel so we rarely took vacations.  A weekend road trip constituted a 20-minute drive to K-Mart.

Imagine my excitement when I heard we were going to travel halfway across the country to visit family in North Dakota.

We took a drive down to the Black Hills since we were so close.  We did the usual touristy things, but I wasn't ready for was Mt Rushmore.  I was in awe of how a group of talented and brave people could create something so large and lifelike out of granite.

That was the one and only time my dad would ever see Mt Rushmore.  I would visit many more times throughout the years.  Each time I would stand in the same spot as these pictures and think about the first time I saw it with my family.