Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Needles Highway

We ended up in Rapid City South Dakota last night.  Today we went to Mount Rushmore.  It was about a 45 minute ride from our hotel.


We learned that 90% of the carving was done with dynamite.


The presidents were originally suppposed to be from head to the waist.  But the sculpter, Gutzon Borglum died in the middle of the project.  His son took over and didn’t want to finish it as planned… plus Congress cut the funding for the project.


Read more about Mount Rushmore

We also visited Crazy Horse, another mountain sculpture.     It is a work in progress… and will be for many more decades.  Crazy Horse is completely funded by visitors.  It receives NO government funds. 

Crazy Horse1

It’s original sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski died suddenly at age 73.  He is buried near the base of the mountain.  His wife and most of his ten kids have taken on his mission to try to complete the sculpture according to his wishes.

This i what it will look like when it’s complete in God knows how many years.  It is a very slow process.
Crazy horse2
You can see the mountain just beyond the models pointing finger.  It has a long way to go.

More about the Crazy Horse Memorial.

Then it was on to the Needles Highway.  This winding road through some of the most scenic territory I’ve ridden was just breathtaking.

Needles Highway

There are 10 mph curves… one after another, that twist up and down the mountain side.  There were several tunnels through the mountains.

Needle highway2

We had ridden quite a ways through some really neat curvy roads (thinking we were already on the NeedlesHighway) when we came upon a sign that said to turn right to get to the Needles Highway.

It was almost dark when we got through the 14 mile ride.  Right before we exited Needles Highway, we saw a very large buffalo standing about 6 feet off the side of the road.. just grazing.   None of us could get our cameras out in time to get a shot.

It’s late and I’m wiped, so I’m off to bed.




WifeMotherMe said...

Wow what a grand adventure this is turning out to be. In the pic you have 4 other people and a teddy bear with you. And on the last pic you can see the bear is along for the ride; Wanna share the story of the bear?

Anonymous said...

Have fun!
Greetings from Chile!

Anonymous said...

Who wiped you? Maybe you should be whipped for this...

Don Ray said...

Great photos. Great photos. I have been there also and it is quite an experience.

Noran said...

we did this trip 2 years ago and loved it. Custer's state park is great,so is the dining, and the wildlife. hill city has a resturant you must try--filet minon two sizes 7.99 or 9.99 only choices for the dinner menu--lunch huge German selection--in a former inn. never got the the caves in the area. the needles hwy was designed to forced one to slow down, so you see the scenery and boy do you ever--we drove it 3 days in a row!
we also did the train from Hill city--it was nice as well. so much to see and do there.

go see the norway church just outside of rapid city--well worth your visit--only a few in the us--amazing grounds, and buildings.

Jonco said...

I meant wiped... as in wiped out!
Thanks for all the great comments.


BHTraveler said...

Noran's got some great suggestions. The restaurant in Hill City is called the Alpine Inn. The caves are excellent - Wind Cave and Jewel Cave (both National Park Services sites) are the fourth-longest and second-longest caves in the world, respectively. The historical train in Hill City is called the 1880 Train, and the scenery is worth the ride. The Norwegian church in Rapid City is the Stav Kirk, a replica of the 850-year-old Borgund Church in Norway. The grounds are pretty incredible. What a great trip!