Thursday, August 15, 2013

Now somewhere in the black mountain hills of South Dakota

No Rocky Raccoon here but lots of nice places to visit - Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State park, Wind Cave National Park and more. Lots of wildlife too. Here are some pics we snapped of the monuments:

Both Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse are very impressive monuments, and both are within 20 minutes drive of where we are staying. The story of how these monuments were created is pretty interesting. Mt Rushmore was federally-funded and was completed by a crew led by Gutzon Borglum from 1927 to 1941. It's one of the most popular places in America and deservedly so.

The sculpting of Crazy Horse is a bit different. Standing Bear was a Lakota elder who initiated the project by writing to one of the Rushmore sculptors named Korczak Ziolkowski. In 1948, Korczak started the sculpture and worked alone for many years with no funding, climbing up and down the mountain and planting explosives by himself. He worked from his heart until he died in 1982. His wife and family continued with the project and completed the face of Crazy Horse in 1998. The work continues, funded entirely from visitor fees and donations. It's an amazing reminder of what can be done when one is truly committed to something. 

We also went to Custer State Park, the most impressive state park that I've ever visited. 

Sylvan Lake 
One of 3 vehicle tunnels in the park
Pronghorn (commonly called Antelope)
Saw a lot more bison, deer and bighorn sheep in this park. I would highly recommend a visit.

Heading to some big ones tomorrow... Grand Teton followed by Yellowstone and then Glacier.

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