Road Trip, Day Twelve

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[What to do with a full day in Rapid City?  Hmmm, I guess Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse come immediately to mind.  And in the “City of Presidents,” you will find every one of them on a street corner.  These were some of the ones the Supervisor roared by on our way to the three presidents on the mountainside.]

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[We’re on our way!]

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[An over-arching development?]

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[Through Keystone, we have a sighting.]

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[Yup, them’s the guys!]

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[Again, the importance of such facilities cannot be overstated!]

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[Delighted to be here, again!]

Mt. Rushmore, 11 years ago . . .

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[With the Supervisor, same time of year in 2004.]

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[And back in the present.]

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[We’re No. 32!  (And have pretty much stayed there ever since . . . well, except for girls’ hockey.]

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[Hi!  I’ll lead the way!]

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[This year we had time for the history lesson.]

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[Thus is the history lesson.  I believe above was the 50th anniversary in 1989.]

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[Like John, Paul, George, and Ringo, they deserve their individual shots too!  🙂  ]

3-29-15-42 - Copy3-29-15-43 - Copy[Then we changed angles to get a little better shot of Teddy . . . ]

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[Unfortunately, the change of angles didn’t work for me?]

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[Hi there!  How do you like our presidents?]

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[Despite recent difficulties in her home state, still a proud Hoosier!]

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[Little did we realize you can drive around the monument and get a profile shot of George!]

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[We didn’t understand the squiggly sign?  The rocks above looked pretty much straight up and down to us?]

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[You put “naked” in the name of pretty much anything, it’s likely to sell.  We had Naked Mountain winery not too far from us in the state of Virginia.  Yup, it was a pretty popular place.]

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[From Mt. Rushmore moving on to Crazy Horse.  The sign is not quite correct – an awful lot of Federal signage for the place along the interstates.]

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[Our first sighting!]

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[At the Visitors Center . . . ]

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[And walking around inside therein.  Pretty (there’s that word again!) much self-explanatory.]

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[The story of the white buffalo has historical significance in our family.  This is my paternal grandparents house in north Minneapolis (two siblings standing in front).  Back in the day when we would visit from Alex, the Obert brothers all slept out on the front porch.  Grandpa would softly wake us up early in the morning and say, “The white buffalo is in the backyard!  Shhhh!”  We would tiptoe to the kitchen window to see him. Every time Grandpa would say, “Ohhh, you just missed him!”  That went on for many years.  In fact, I believe he was still pulling that on me when I was on my 30’s . . . never did see that damn buffalo!]

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[I am now going to dazzle (bore?) you with several photos of the same thing.  There is a shuttle bus to the base of the mountain, and a viewing/photo op place when you get there. The bus driver/tour guide advised that Crazy Horse’s expression, attitude, and demeanor all change with the shifting light and seasons.  We had a perfect day here with passing clouds.  Do you notice a change in mood (his, not yours)?]

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[You can take a bus all the way to the top.  Will cost you about $130, about three-quarters of which can be deducted as a charitable contribution.]

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[On the way back to the visitors center, we passed where Korczak is buried – in the middle of the photo at the base of the rock cliff.  Most of his family still works here, his sons working on Crazy Horse.  They will all be buried here as well.]

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[Korczak’s quote.]

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[(Psssstt!  Don’t tell anyone.  I touched it – almost.)]

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[Tree trimming]

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[Watching people watch Crazy Horse.]

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[Just hanging around the facilities . . . and then in for lunch!]

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[A little tatanka stew.  Mmmmm!  (Forgot to ask if it was a white tatanka?)]

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[This was one of the more amazing stories . . . Korczak started the sculpture all by himself in 1948.  It was more than 700 stairs up to his work area, carrying about 50 pounds of equipment with him.  He ultimately realized he needed a compressor, bought this one used (a Buda, as I recall), and he would crank start it and then begin his climb.  But it was not reliable and often conked out – he would have to go back down to re-start it.  One day he did that NINE times!  I can’t even imagine what kind of shape he was in, and he was not a young man.  So, Crazy Horse has been under construction for 67  years, most of that time span by Korczak himself.  More workers of late have made much more progress in the last 15 years than Korczak did in the first 50 years.  Best estimates are that it is still at least 20 – 30 years from completion.  Guess I won’t see it.]

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[Time to begin the drive back through the Black Hills to Rapid City . . . ]

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[Made it.  And now the drive past some more presidents . . . ]

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[Heading for home in the morning!]

Every time I close the door on reality it comes in through the windows.  ~  Jennifer Unlimited

Up next:  Going Home

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