Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Forget Mount Rushmore: Richard Nixon’s last laugh

Richard Nixon laid back
Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace, after his Watergate tapes had shown the public just what kind of a man he was. Despite his claim that I am not a crook!, most believed he lied to the Congress, to the public, and probably to himself.

There is no chance that Nixon would ever have his face carved into a granite mountain – like Mount Rushmore – to pay tribute to him.

But to all those who scoff at Nixon and his legacy, a word of caution: there is a chance that Mother Nature has on her own done her best to preserve Nixon for posterity.

How so?

Well, I’ve just returned from touring the Joshua Tree National Park in California, and there I discovered something remarkable. President Richard Nixon might have pulled a fast one on all of us!

We were driving along the Keys View Road in the Park, towards Hidden Valley, when I spotted Nixon’s Revenge.

A large rock formation reared up on the side of the road. As we passed it, the side view of the rock showed the profile of Richard Nixon. No Ifs, Buts or doubts about it: it was the spitting image of Tricky Dick.

Saddle Rocks, aka Nixon's Revenge
Known as Saddle Rocks, the largest single rock formation in Joshua Tree National Park rises some 600 feet from the valley floor, just below the west flank of Ryan Mountain.
Saddle Rock has three summits – they make up the heavy chin of Nixon, his most prominent facial feature (the long, oddly shaped nose), and his prominent forehead. Rock climbers call these the Lower, Middle and Upper Summits.

When you compare the various photos of Nixon in this post with Saddle Rocks, you will note the similarities that struck me.

Now, every time someone rides past that mountain, they just might hear a soft, disdainful chuckle emanating from who knows where ...


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