Saturday, June 28, 2014

Part of the herd in the Black Hills of South Dakota

We're in Custer, South Dakota in the middle of a busy tourist weekend.

This is an area where my uncle lived so I've been here a few times over the years.  He built his houses on the side of the hills overlooking Rapid City.  He would frame in the basement of the house to live in and over a period of a couple years would build the house as funds became available.  The thing I like about Dan was his creativeness and willingness to tackle anything.  He would no sooner finish the house and then he would knock out a wall, build a tower or sun room or add an extension to his wraparound deck overlooking the city.  His houses were always unique and interesting because of his artistic design skills.   I just wish he were still around so we could pop in for a visit.
What's the fine for smuggling a baby buffalo out of the park?  Tempting

Yesterday we visited the Crazy Horse memorial sculpture.  This is one of the largest sculptures in the world.  It was started by a young guy back in 1939 after he was contacted by Standing Bear who said "My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know that the red man has great heroes, too."  And he asked if Korczak could make a sculpture like Mount Rushmore for the Indians.

Carving began in 1948 and he initially did it all by himself.  He accepted donations but would take no government funding as he didn't want the project to be abandoned like his previous job which was working on Mount Rushmore.  Most people don't know this but Mount Rushmore was never completed.   So far the head of Crazy Horse is complete and it's so big that Mount Rushmore could reside within the forehead.

What impressed us so much about this project was the dedication of Korczak Ziolkowski (Sculptor), his wife Ruth and his 10 kids.  Korczak died in 1982 and his wife who carried on the project died last month.  Six of their ten kids continue to work on the monument.   There is a Informative visitor center with many exhibits, movies and bus rides to learn about this amazing project.  It's a "must see" if you're ever in South Dakota.  Here's a link to learn more:  Crazy Horse project

Today we drove through Custer State park and wound through the roads seeing buffalo, goats, donkeys, prairie dogs, deer and ?Antelope.  And we also saw Mount Rushmore.  A nice way to spend the day.  We were here exactly 20 years ago tent camping with the kids.   Time flies ... 
Mount Rushmore

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