We don't get out much during the summer, but we had the opportunity to make a quick visit to Mount Rushmore this past weekend. We have to work volunteers staying with us from France, and we wanted them to see the most well-known national park in the Black Hills. So after breakfast service, we piled into the car for a quick drive south.
Rushmore is busy this time of year - very busy. We were a little overwhelmed by the crowds, though it's always a moving experience to see so many different nationalities and languages strolling the paths. We grabbed a little lunch, checked out the museum, took the Presidential Trail to the base of the mountain and around to the Sculptor's Studio, and then finished up with a little ice cream. (C'mon - no trip to Mount Rushmore is complete without ice cream.)
Aside from ice cream, there's another little something nifty at Mount Rushmore: free wifi. Wireless internet isn't available everywhere, but there's a totally adequate signal in the dining room and on the outdoor dining terrace, courtesy of park concessionaire Xanterra. It's handy for international visitors without a North American SIM card or die-hard players of Pokémon Go. (And yes, there are plenty of PokéStops and Gymnasiums at Mount Rushmore. Or at least, that's what a friend told me. Yeah, that's it. A friend.)
I took note, since it's a bit of a departure from other national parks. Even Yellowstone - which is also managed by Xanterra - doesn't have free wifi in the hotels and lodges. But it makes sense that it's appearing at more parks: the National Park Service knows it needs to reach out to younger and more diverse crowds. Free wireless internet isn't going to magically make them appear, but hey, more convenient selfie-uploading never hurt anyone.