Friday, August 28, 2009

June 22 - Badlands, Rushmore, and Crazy Horse
Our flight to south Dakota and Rapid City was another opportunity for some great sight seeing. The Black Hills came into sight, their tightly spaced Ponderosa Pines giving them the "black" appearance. The change from the prairie land of the north to these unique hills (the highest at 7,242 feet) was interesting as was the Badlands to the east, stunning in their starkness, unusual shapes, multi-colored layers, and impressive scale.

We stopped for lunch after a short stop at the park headquarters; a very nice lunch just nest door. We drove the loop road and enjoyed many pull-offs for scenery and vistas, as well as prairie dogs and our first Pronghorn Antelope.

We made a run over to Mount Rushmore which was truly inspirational. The museum, carvings, and the whole memorial is really well done and tasteful. We all really enjoyed it. Not far from here is the Crazy Horse Memorial, still, and perhaps for many more years, under construction. Just the face is complete; the arm and area where the horse's head will be are just roughed-out. It too is an amazing sight and scale that is hard to fathom. The whole of Mount Rushmore fits on the head of Crazy Horse! It will be a wonder of mankind when complete, as it will be the world's largest sculpture in three dimensions.

We headed to our hotel (Creekside Lodge) in Custer. This is the newest addition to the historical state game lodge and wonderfully luxurious with fine food and wines. We must come back!

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