I wake up fairly early. My plan to get an early start is derailed right away. It is Sunday morning, the one morning I pretty much always laze in bed and read the newspaper (the Denver Post). In our, “learn about news instantly” world, I rarely learn much new when I read the newspaper. However, it’s such an ingrained habit, it just doesn’t feel like Sunday if I don’t do it. I, of course, don’t have a newspaper to read today, so I do the next best thing. I watch the news on TV.
Half the morning is gone before I know it, and I have spent it in bed! I finally get up, do some yoga, shower and go down for breakfast. French toast again, with bacon and fruit. The French toast is pretty tasty.
I have to check out by 11. I pack everything up. Since I was only here a few days, I don’t have too much and it doesn’t take too long. I am able to carry everything down to my car in one trip. I check out, pack up the car, program Crazy Horse into Navi and I say good-bye to Rapid City.
Well, actually, I stop to fill my tank with gas. That one tank will get me all the way home.
It takes about a half an hour to get to Crazy Horse. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, it is a beautiful day.
I don’t realize that my entrance fee at Crazy Horse is good for three days and I pay again. As I’m talking to the lady taking my money, it comes up that I was just here Friday. She gives me back my money. I park and get a ticket for the bus ride that will take us to the bottom of the mountain. It is an OLD, rickety bus. The bus driver is kind of old and rickety as well. He is full of information about the monument and its history.
These are the pictures I take. Some of them are through the window of the bus, hence the reflection.
The driver said those white lines that outline the horse’s head are four feet wide.
Crazy Horse is pointing (or he will be when more of the monument is completed) and saying, “My lands are where my dead lie buried.”
This is what the sculptor used to start chipping away at the mountain.
This is the Mission Statement of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation:
The mission of Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians. The Foundation demonstrates its commitment to this endeavor by continuing the progress on the world’s largest sculptural undertaking by carving a memorial of Lakota leader Crazy Horse; by providing educational and cultural programming; by acting as a repository for American Indian artifacts, arts and crafts through the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational & Cultural Center; and by establishing and operating the Indian University of North America and, when practical, a medical training center for American Indians.
Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started Crazy Horse Memorial June 3, 1948. It has taken a long time to just get the face done. It is quite impressive and worth a visit when you come visit.
The foundation takes no money from the government and all funds are from donations and admission fees and running the visitors center.
This gate, the Black Hills Nature Gates, is the last thing Korczak completed before his death in 1982. He is buried in a tomb at the base of the Crazy Horse mountain. His wife and children continue work on the monument.
I have now seen all the things I came to see and done all the things I came to do. Well, almost. Bear Country USA sounded kind of cool.
It is time to go home.
I remember that there is no place to stop to eat, so I look for somewhere to eat before I leave the area. The GPS takes me through Custer, which really had no great place to eat either. I stopped at a restaurant and narrowed my choices down to corned beef hash or a roast beef sandwich. I ask the waitress which she would recommend. She says it all depends on whether I’m in the mood for breakfast or lunch. I ask what kind of bread the sandwich is made on and she says white.
Toto, we’re not in Boulder anymore. In fact I think plain white bread is banned in Boulder. Okay, I’m kidding. Kind of. Actually, I didn’t even think they made white bread anymore. Kidding again. Kind of.
I choose the corned beef. No pictures. It wasn’t very good.
I then drove straight through to Colorado and home. I would have stopped somewhere for a Starbucks, but Siri wasn’t working (iPhone) and my rule is if I can’t see it from the highway, I don’t stop.
I almost finished my audio book. (When I drove to work the next day I finished it up.)
I was exhausted when I got home.
It was a great trip and I was very glad I did it. It was very empowering and I now think ALL women should take a trip like this. I drove long distances (and if I don’t drive anywhere for the next 6 months, that would be okay), I saw some amazing sites, and I ate in restaurants all by myself! I can do just about anything now!
Next adventure – New Orleans. The good times did roll!