This morning we left in reasonable time to make a quick visit to the Crazy Horse Memorial www.crazyhorsememorial.org in order to take a few pictures before moving on to Mount Rushmore to take a few more, which would then leave this afternoon free to do something else.
You can see much of what there is to see of the Crazy Horse Memorial (GPS: N43.828805 W103.631903) from the road, but we thought we’d pay the $20 admission fee to enable us to take a closer look. The Chef remarked that if they charge that much to see the completed face and an unfinished arm how much will they be charging when it’s completed in about 2050? – good point! As we approached the site it was very busy, it seemed odd that so many people would take such an interest in a part-finished sculpture so early in the morning. When we reached the pay booth we were informed that today was one of the days of the year when the public get the opportunity to walk up to the face of the sculpture. The walk would cost just $3 each, that was the only fee, and by the way did we want to make a donation to the Food Bank? Since today was only going to cost us $6 instead of the anticipated $20 I donated $5.
It turned out the event was the 23rd Annual BHVA Volksmarch. I know we got in cheap as a consequence, but there was no way I was going to walk all the way up a mountain wearing lederhosen and slapping my thighs. I needn’t have worried, most folk, and there were hundreds of them, seemed fairly normal. We paid extra to buy a medal each for our accomplishment before even setting out. As we began to climb The Chef was under instruction to warn me of any 8 year olds who might try to overtake, so that I could give them a swift elbow as they passed.
We made it to the top, totally unprepared, in 75 minutes, wearing just our ordinary clothing. The ‘summit’ was a long, level, man made rock plateau which will eventually become the top of Crazy Horse’s outstretched arm, and while we were up there got the chance to touch his completed carved face. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience with a great atmosphere between everybody participating. I said to The Chef, that by us taking part the event had been elevated to international status.
On our arrival back at the base we had a good look around the museum and Visitors Centre where we bought yet another souvenir mug and a small Native American ornament for the mantelpiece back home. This will be the only souvenir of our trip apart from the mugs we’re collecting on the way round.
After leaving the Crazy Horse Memorial we made for Mount Rushmore again (GPS: N43.875216 W103.452361). It wasn’t too far away and on arrival took some pictures before walking along the Presidential Trail which is a short hike around the front of the monument.
The evening stayed fine and we took advantage of it with The Chef doing a stack of washing down at the laundry room and me playing with the BBQ grill and gas powered campfire. Tomorrow we intend to rise early and travel to the Bandlands National Park and visit Wounded Knee the massacre site of Native Americans by cavalry soldiers.
LOCATION TONIGHT: Custer’s Gulch RV Park, Custer, South Dakota