Its all just rocks, but what rocks!
Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
109Trip End Dec 15, 2011
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Our aim today was to see the Need;es, Crazy Horse and Mt rushmore, so we set off in that direction. Passed the turnoff we meant to take, so tried to locate a minor road at the next exit which would link back. However the map didnt help as it only showed one road and there were several, and the sat nav showed several, but as we zoopmed out they all disappeared so we couldnt tell which was the one we wanted. After going back and forth we cut our losses and went back the way we had come to the missed junction. Wasted time, but fun!
Passed Pactola lake on the way, which was a very attractive lake, can imagine that in season its paacked out with holiday makers
Eventually got to Crazy Horse. Apparently its not a well visited place compared to Mt Rushmore, but the statue, which is by no means finished, is considerably bigger than Mt R. Crazy Horse's face is about as tall as the Presidents heads, so the whole thing will be about 10 times as big. And its all done privately, they were offered govt funding but turned it down, as they didnt believe the govt would want it finished. There's a whole visitors area, showing details of the indians and the broken promises that were made to them, their culture etc, Korczak's (the sculpture) house and other works and loads of things. I thought we would spend a short while there, but it could have easily absorbed a lot longer than we gave it. However, its been going for about 50 years so far, and one has to wonder whether it will ever get finished!
We were going to go on to the Needles Eye , but we saw a sign in the restrooms saying that eedles Highway was closed. This was the only indication we had anywhere, even passing the turnoff, so we queried it and were told, yest it is closed. However he told us to go down the Custer Park Wildlife drive and stop at Mt Coolidge Viewpoint, and we would get great views of both Mt R and the Needles
Proceeded towards Mt R, along a VERY winding road. Dozens of hairpin bends, most of which were so tight we could hardly get round them in one go. Martin had to work very hard. Couple of one lane tunnels, and teo pigtail bridges, where the road went round 360 degrees and across a wooden bridge to get anywhere. Quite an experience.
Eventually got to Mt R And went to the Presidents. Very impressive, and again there was an interesting visitors centre showing how it was all created. What we couldnt understand iss how, in the early 20th Century, they cold visit all the mountains to decide which one was suitable for such a big operation!
Anyway, with all the rocks we saw today, we didnt maanage to make a lot of progress towards NY, so here we are in Rapid City. Went to the recommended place to eat, and on the beer list was a "Pile of Dirt" Porter, so I couldnt resist. Unfortunately no bottle, so I cant share the picture with you
Mileage 167, Max Alt was 6034, climbed 12910 ft altogether. Tim M, do you need an explanation!!?
Martin's mountain moment:
Korczak Ziolkowski was a self taught sculpter (?) who became committed to the project in 1938 and also tookup the cause of the Native American Indian.He had 10 children,7 of whom remain involved in the scheme,as does his widow.
I can understand his reluctance to get hijacked by State or Corporate money,however tempting.There must have been a collective amnesia on the part of the establishment to the fate of the Native American and the temptation to drown out the image of an individual who is remembered for inflicting a famous defeat on an American icon (General George Custer,failed man manager) must have been great. Even more so when he met his death by assassination whilst under truce - stabbed in the back.
Anyway for my money - which was more than it was to see Mount Rushmore - it was well worth seeing.
And the Needles - didn't get to see them as area was being treated for pine tree infestation
I'm beginning to think that our prolonged escape from the bad weather is soon to come to an end.Weather was exceptionally hot today and tonight is warm also.But precipitation is in sight.
The last two weeks have been an absolute treat but I'm feeling a little jaded now as I think we are out of the pretty and into the city.
Who knows anything about Chicago? Sears building (or whatever its called now) and Annish Kapoor's sculpture are all I know - but I think there's an interesting waterfront.I don't think we're going to get a game in for Roger's birthday. Answers on a postcard please.I think we'll try to get an out of town motel on the end of a railway or tram connection.We'll see.