I have decided that I’m not an connoisseur of the Franklin Stove. It takes, 57 years to get it going, then it heats up the room to the point where you get dizzy if you get off the floor. Assuming you can get off the floor after hufffing and puffing to tease the fragile little flame into fruition. Afterwards you have to feed the beast constantly. And just the right amount – too much and your sinuses turn into an internal version of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Too little and it peters out, requiring you to start the whole process over again, using furniture for kindling. To hell with it! They can just add it to my bill.
The furniture was probably just as fire proof as the fire wood. Good thing I didn’t actually try it. Just don’t understand why we are having so much trouble with fires this trip. Complete idiots accidentally burn down entire neighborhoods every day and we spend 3 hours trying whip up a flame that may be big enough to warm a marshmallow but not actually toast it. I am humbled. Thank God I brought my trusty camp stove along. A hot cup of coffee makes just about any indignity bearable.
We gave up the stove finally, packed up and headed for Mt. Rushmore. It was foggy and we were afraid they would not be visible. We made in time. We had lunch in the restaurant looking right out on the monument. An incredible view. Didn’t look anything like I expected. The rock they were carved out was a soft rock that made them look very peaceful and gentle. A somber experience, but they didn’t look like cold statues, but instead they look like real men, our founding fathers. An incredible accomplishment for the creators of this national monument.