Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and the Black Hills

At Heartland RV Park, Hermosa, South Dakota...

For many years, I wasn't one hundred percent sure that Mount Rushmore and its environs was a 'must-see' for me, and Sandy felt the same. In fact, I'm not sure that we would have stopped here this time had we not been traveling sort of in the vicinity. Our reluctance was probably due to the vast amount of information, both written and pictorial, that already exists and is accessible with a few computer keystrokes.

I'm thinking differently now. I would offer that there is no substitute for being there and seeing with one's own eyes. It's not that the photos and the writings aren't a worthy substitute; they certainly are for those who aren't able to visit in person. But a photo cannot convey what it's like to view an American icon like Rushmore while watching an eagle fly by or seeing the waving of a nearby flag or the rush of a fresh-scented breeze through the pine forest. 

Rushmore is such a place. And so is the Crazy Horse monument and the Black Hills region in general.

Viewing the mountain from the visitor center is a treat. It is awesome, without question. A photo hardly does it justice:



I won't go into the genius and the effort of Gutzon Borglum in bringing these giant sculptures to life under such impossible odds, but the story is told quite well here via exhibits and videos. If you happen to be headed here, you will also find that a visit to the Borglum Museum in Keystone to be quite worthwhile.

Having our traveling friends John and Bobbie Jo with us was an extra treat, and we've enjoyed a lot of merriment along with the good sightseeing:



We also visited the Crazy Horse Memorial worksite nearby, and we're glad we did. This sculpture almost defies the imagination; It consists of Chief Crazy Horse mounted on a horse, and the entire sculpture is many times larger than the faces on Mt. Rushmore. It has been under construction since 1948 under the supervision of Korczak Ziolkowsky and is far from completed. Ziolkowsky's descendants are continuing the project after his death, and the effort is receiving no government funding. The rather large visitor center provides a steady flow of funds toward the effort, but it is a shame that most older folks today will not live to see its completion. Here is what the finished sculpture will look like:



And here is the project as it stands today. Take a look at the large cranes, barely visible at the top of what will be Crazy Horse's arm to get some perspective of its size:



We also enjoyed a scenic drive around highway 87 through the 'needles,' an area of vertical rock spires that inspired the name:




I'm afraid Phannie's hips and roof would be left behind if we tried to take her through this tunnel; John's pickup would barely fit:



So, we say goodbye to the Black Hills, glad to have had an opportunity to visit this beautiful area. 


Stay tuned; we'll know where we're going next when we get there!


Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.


I had rather own little and see the world than to own the world and see little of it. --Alexander Sattler

10 comments:

  1. Such a nice sight to see maybe we will be able to get there someday. Thanks for the tour. and keep on having fun.

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    1. It would be well worth your time, George. Hope you can make it!

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  2. Bill and I drove across the states to B.C. and Alberta in 2011. We took our car and it was an absolutely awesome trip. We did the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments as well. I will NEVER forget how I felt with the magnitude of it all. I'm so glad you went rather than settling for online pictures. We would love to go again and will definitely do it one day. Thank you for bringing those memories to the forefront for me today. I loved Keystone as well.

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    1. I agree, Patsy. There's nothing like seeing it with your own eyes...

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  3. We've traveled that road in both directions and never get tired of the attractions and the natural beauty. The town of Keystone was cute but touristy.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Thanks, y'all. It was nice to get to this place after our long trek through the northern plains.

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  4. Fascinating area. Having grown up in eastern Montana we took lots of vacations in that area and it is amazing how much it has grown. Pictures don't do justice to anything in my opinion. Mother Nature does a much better job of painting the world than any camera.

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    1. Yes, you're right Sandie; there is no longer any question in our minds, either.

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  5. I have been to all those places many times, starting when I was around 10. I hope to keep going back whenever I can:))

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    1. One thing we didn't see was the light show at night at Mt. Rushmore. We probably should have made time for that...

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