This summer, I had the opportunity to view more trench drain at various National Monuments. This time, I visited the Black Hills and viewed the trench drain marvels of Devil’s Tower and Mount Rushmore.
Trench Drain at Mount Rushmore
I went to Mount Rushmore 25 years ago on my way to Field Camp (to study field Geology). At that time, it was foggy and I was unable to view the mount or see the faces of the four Presidents. If I recall, I was also driving with a friend from Panama (Juan Villanueva) in his brown 1976 Dodge Charger and camping under the stars. Ahh, to be 20 again…
Had I visited 25 years ago I wouldn’t have seen trench drain. Since then, however, the National Park Service made wonderful improvements to the memorial, not the least of which is trench drain.The photo to the right is of a custom stainless steel grate that I found in the lobby to the amphitheater. Beautiful!! The square grate openings are either laser cut or stamp pressed. (My guess is laser cut) Big Buck Stuff!!! Kudos to the park. If anyone knows the maker, I’d like to find this out. The drain shown left is from a company out of Washington State: Urban Accessories. They have nice patterns of trench drain grates, which may be made in China. They have a good product line. I’ve quoted custom trench to jobs that had specified their grating. They seem to be good folk and have a nice niche in the industry. Their trench grating sure added a charming touch to the amphitheater stairs at Rushmore.
Trench Drain at Devil’s Tower
The first time I came to Devil’s Tower was shortly after the movie “Close Encounters”. Because of this, my first visit here was a pseudo-religious experience. I saw no little green men (at least from interstellar encounters) on this first visit. And, I don’t recall having as much fun then as I did this time hiking with my children and nieces. We took lots of photos and journeyed farther than we were allowed without being registered climbers. We even even had a mid-day lunch on the side of the sacred tower.
One of my favorite photos is of the perforated steel grating found in front of the ranger station at the base of the tower. Again, this had to be a special made item (US tax $$$). And, though the holes are small and spaced far apart, they must allow enough water flow to make themselves useful. Besides, this is an arid region. I have no idea of the age of these grates, but I’m guessing that they were made before the age of pre-sloped, pre-formed polymer trench drain systems. Look at the imperfect hole pattern. Maybe the Park Department made these grates itself.
Many “Thanks” to the National Park System for preserving and maintaining the parks for all of us. If you haven’t gone to the Black Hills, I urge you to go. There are many, many more things to see than these two monuments. My children and I had a wonderful time – and we only spent 4 days!