Black Hills adventure

Trip Start May 01, 2010
Trip End May 29, 2010

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our first day in the Black Hills. Morning very pleasant with a windy, winding road to Mount Rushmore and bright sun. The mountain itself is everything you expect – granite countenances in the morning sun, looking down on the valley below and the tourists in their varied raiment and aspect. We caught the end of the ranger's tour, in which she disclosed the controversy surrounding sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s decision to include his friend, Teddy Roosevelt, as one of the exalted four gazing out over the Black Hills into eternity. Borglum had an excellent rationale for including Teddy – primarily the Panama Canal, which made America a global power – but you just know even back then it was who you knew that determined whether you were immortalized.

Little known fact: Borglum took on the Rushmore job as he was working on Stone Mountain near Atlanta. He quit the Stone Mountain job after a disagreement with the major funder of the work – the Ku Klux Klan.

We made a brief stop to see the unfinished Crazy Horse memorial. The mountain carving was begun in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who had worked on Mount Rushmore under Borglum in 1924. In more than 60 years, only the head of Crazy Horse has been completed. Borglum and his son and crew sculpted four presidents in 14 years.

Some great views today, and we saw a lot of wildlife, including bison, whitetail deer, a pronghorn antelope and a mountain goat – the latter walking right down the road.

Tomorrow: Devil’s Tower and Belle Fourche, S.D., the geographic center of the U.S.
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Ben on

This is so great! How are you guys ever going to return to being home-bodies?

Ellen Hartman on

what's been your favorite meals? How are gas prices? Where are the most friendly people?

Suzie on

Just beautiful. You two are so lucky to be doing a trip like this togehter. Well should I say you three.

Tina Johnson on

I am so envious! So very cool that Cash gets to come along and enjoy the trip also. Thanks for sharing!

Dick Crockett on

Devils Tower is my favorite. Make sure you walk all the way around it. Very cool.

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