Crazy Horse

Trip Start Mar 10, 2013
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44
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Trip End Jun 09, 2013


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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Friday, May 17, 2013

Woke up this morning & it was beautiful & sunny so decided to go back to Mt Rushmore again. There's no entry charged here but you do pay an $11 parking fee & we noticed this morning that the ticket is valid for 1 year so back we went. There were a few more people but still not busy & the light was better for photos. We've noticed in the northern parts of the US that the season doesn't really start till Memorial Day, which is the last Monday in May, & this has been very evident in the Black Hills area. Memorial Day is like our Anzac Day & is the magic day when everything opens, or at least Memorial Day weekend. Quite a few shops & attractions aren't yet open but the things we've wanted to see have been.

After leaving there we did this amazing drive down to Custer State Park which featured pigtail bridges & 3 granite tunnels. The tunnels were quite small, all the tourist brochures have the widths & height of the tunnels & there was one we were a bit worried about but we made it with room to spare. At one point we went through 5 hairpin bends down the mountain. It was a beautiful drive & well worth doing. Custer State Park was having an open weekend (& it started today, Friday) so it was free to enter the park so we ended up doing the Wildlife Loop, it would normally cost $15 to enter the park. We saw quite a few bison, deer & prairie dogs.

From there it was off to Crazy Horse Memorial. This is amazing. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski was completely self taught. Lakota Chief Standing Bear learned of the sculptor when he won an award at the 1939 New York Worlds Fair & invited him to the Black Hills to carve Crazy Horse, the famous fighter at the Battle of the Little Bighorn against Custer. He wrote "My fellow chiefs & I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes also". The project was started in 1948 & has never been federally funded, believing that it should be built by the interested public. Korczak married & they had 10 children, 6 of whom are still involved with the project. Before Korczak died in 1982, he left detailed plans to be used & his wife has carried on the project. When completed the mountain carving will be 641ft long & 563ft tall. The Indian Museum of North America is one of the best we have seen in our travels. We did a bus trip which takes you to the base of the Memorial & it allows you to see the front of the carving, which is being carved in the round, a massive undertaking.

We crossed the border in to Nebraska, still continuing west towards Utah now & down to the canyons.
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Comments

Lorna & John on

Wow!!!! What a trip. Would love more details on Carhenge, it looks amazing. Stay safe, happy travels. Love from Lorna & John

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