(Keystone, South Dakota) The Road To Freedom tour crew was very proud to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota. It took some work to position the bus just right for Tom Olin‘s photograph of the bus in front of the huge carved images of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln (including getting stuck on a tiny deadend dirt road in the woods and having to back out with the trailer on the back!). We hiked on a fully accessible trail to the base of the monument and could not help put think of Justin Dart quoting these leaders — especially Lincoln and Jefferson — in relation to the disability rights struggle. 

In the evening we gathered with more than 30,000 others (many who had walked as far as 4 miles to the monument) to view the spectacular fireworks display. It was a really moving time and location to celebrate the spirit of Independence.

Our arrival to our RV park nearby the monument was eventful as well. We missed the entrance to the park and had to find a place to turn around and go back. There was nowhere to do this and we drove for miles on a narrow road that included several tight hairpin turns. As we came around one corner we discovered a sign warning of a tunnel ahead. Here we were in our big bus that has a clearance of about 12’6″ and the sign claimed this natural stone tunnel cut in the mountain was only 10’8”! We stopped the bus and Debbie got out and directed traffic in the single lane beside us while Jim grabbed a tape measure to get the actual dimensions of the tunnel. We had quite a traffic jam when the sherriff arrived to tell us we would have to back down the mountain… Well, with some measuring, dropping the air out of the suspension and the guidance from a local samaritan, we just managed to squeeze the bus into and out of the tunnel while amazed onlookers took photos and cheered us on. Nice people who could have been really upset with the traffic jam we created!

By the way, the name of the road we were on was “Eye of the Needle.”