Heart of the Black Hills, Part 2: The Two Great Monuments


On Saturday, July 20, I took an evening respite from the wild and wonderful, and joined the masses at Gutzon Borglum’s  epic memorial to our nation:  Mount Rushmore.



Each state has its flag and a granite slab, set in its honour, along the Grand Concourse.

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The mountain, before the monument was carved, looked something like this.


Now, there are vantage points, from which to focus on one ,or several of the presidents.



I had a simple supper in Mount Rushmore’s dining hall, then took a brief hike under the sculptures.  After that, the Great Black Hills lodging hunt yielded me a room in Custer.

The next morning, after a delectable breakfast and brief walk around Custer (see next post), I spent an hour or so at Crazy Horse Monument, the memorial to the great Oglala Lakota chief, started by Korczak Ziolkowski, in 1948.  As you will note, it is far from finished.  The family, and the foundation now guiding its work, continue to carve, blast and fine-tune this magnificent edifice.                                                                                                                                            SAM_5700

I took some time to look around the Visitor Center, and to walk around the garden grounds, before setting off for Black Elk Peak’s southern slopes. (see post on Saturday).

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Driving away, I got one last look at Chief Crazy Horse.


Next:  A Morning in Custer, SD

8 thoughts on “Heart of the Black Hills, Part 2: The Two Great Monuments

  1. Wonderful shots of the Presidents, Gary — how interesting that somebody saw them in the rock (is the ‘before’ shot a current shot of the next rock over?).


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