Continuing from my last post, Saturday was another day of sightseeing. I started the day off at Mount Rushmore. Turns out there is no straight path from the campground to the Monument. Primarily because Custer State Park makes it necessary to go up and around through Keystone or take the long way through the park. Early in the morning, think 7:30 to 8:00 traffic is very light. While I didn’t make sunrise, I did beat most of the crowd.
They have built an impressive center around an impressive carving. Interesting thing is that Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor who headed the project, had even bigger visions beyond the carving. While you can’t climb to the top, unless you get a job on the maintenance staff; you can walk the path around the amphitheater and get a good view of each president.
After that I went to the Crazy Horse Memorial. It’s not far away, seems the mountains in South Dakota lend themselves to carving. This is a massive undertaking. The entire mountain is being tansformed into a sculptor of the famous Lakota Indian leader. The Crazy Horse Memorial is located in the heart of the beautiful Black Hills. The Mountain is 6,532 ft and ranks 27th highest mountain in South Dakota. It is made of pegmatite granite and was chosen by Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski & Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear for the Crazy Horse Memorial.
Unlike Mount Rushmore the Crazy Horse Memorial is a private project started by Korczak Ziolkowski and continued by hos children and now the grandchildren. One wonders why it is taking so long, until you see the size of the project and understand the small number of people working on the project.
I finished the day driving around Custer State Park on the Wildlife Loop. The buffalo were in the interior park of the park on this day, so it required a good twenty minute drive on a narrow dirt/gravel road to get to them. Of course there were prairie dogs and with dusk you could see a few ear. Fun entertainment there were a few mules, including two who decided to stroll down the middle of the roadway.
It was a full day. Sunday became a true day of rest.
Mount Rushmore National Monument http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm
Crazy Horse Memorial https://crazyhorsememorial.org/crazyhorse.html