Sunday, July 08, 2007

What a great day in South Dakota

In spite of the triple digit temps. We began our day with a visit to Mt Rushmore....and I am sorry to say we were very disappointed. Now don't get me wrong the sculptures of the four Presidents on the mountain were stunning, even though they aren't finished and probably never will be. That's because the dern government didn't do the proper testing on the mountain, so that means this will never be completed. The parking is very poorly laid out and run by a private company, not the Park Services. AND they charge $8 which is not a lot of $$$ but the government does not normally charge to park on Park grounds. I will be honest, if coming to visit Mt Rushmore pull over to one of the turnouts and take photos. The area was never meant to handle the amount of people in one day that they currently get.

OK suffice to say we saw Mt Rushmore, took a few pics and went on our way to Crazy Horse Mountain. You must go visit this web site because it would take waaaaay too long to explain here. But it is privately funded and the most amazing to see. This is a work in progress that I doubt if your children will ever see finished. Designed by award-winning sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, in 1947, the monument was suggested to Ziolkowski by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear in 1939. Mr Ziolkowski worked on his project for many years by himself.If you are ever in this area please put this on your list of places to visit.

The above photo is of the Crazy Horse sculpture, work in progress. I will post the larger photos over on Mr Doodles flickr page. The object in shadow is a marble sculpture of how the artist wants the mountain to eventually to look like. Quite a feat to carry out but I have no doubt in my mind that the family will succeed.

I was fortunate to meet a real Chief of the Lakota Tribe. He is an author as well as a retired Superintendent of Schools for his area. He
autographed his book for me which was the "true story" of Crazy Horse and the Battle of Little Big Horn or Greasy Grass as the Indians refer to the battle. He also gave me a t-shirt. What a sweetheart.

After visiting Crazy Horse Mountain, we went off to visit the museum for the Story of Wounded Knee. To see the history of Wounded Knee was so very interesting. Especially after just seeing the movie. I had read the book several years ago. I would recommend the movie over the book
cause the book is just so technical and really difficult to get thru. I found it funny that so many western type movies were made in the general area. With the exception of the HBO movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Just down the road from where we were staying was the main location for the movie Dances with Wolves with Kevin Costner. The locals tell me Costner has a home in the area and visits quite often. I also think they told me he has an art gallery too. So Costner is a big deal here in Rapid City.

If you like to see a bit of history in the form of old towns go to Deadwood, South Dakota. This is where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried. All the buildings are refurbished and main street glistens with art galleries, t-shirt shops AND casinos. Yep there is gambling in Deadwood. Tombstone Arizona should take notice of this town rebuilt as they are thriving and not just from the casinos. May I add I walked away with more $$$ than I drove into Deadwood with.........woo hoo!!!

After a very long day of tourista doings we drove back to the RV and started to pack up for the 300 mile drive to Cheyenne the next morning...stay tuna'd.


tiedye said...

I love the picture of the presidents. we studied mt rushmore in school last year in third grad. Thank you for the pst cards I like thm. that shadow in the second pichur looks lik an Egptian.

your frind Cole

Doodles said...

Cole thanks for visiting my blog...glad you enjoyed the photos theres more over on mr doodles flickr site.