This past weekend I went on my second solo camping trip to Custer State Park in South Dakota. Boy, did I pack it in. One memorial, one national monument, one national park and one dig site (fossils), plus exploring the state park. It’s only a six hour drive from where I live in Colorado and the ’02 Jetta flew like the wind. She’s 13 years old, but still has the turbo of a two year old.
As I was driving through Wyoming, I came up on fields and fields of sunflowers. I’ve been wanting to take pictures of these in Denver, but haven’t had the chance. I drove by and then three minutes later — I was desperately searching for a place to make a uey (u-turn for the non-New Englanders). I knew if I didn’t stop, I would miss my sunflower shooting opportunity. It ended up being a great decision.
They were so bright with thousands of bees and other bugs buzzing around busy at work.
After what seems like forever watching the gps waiting to cross over into South Dakota… I finally made it. First time in South Dakota. Woo-hoo!!
My grand plan for the drive out ended up being a bit much and I was only able to visit Crazy Horse Memorial. I wanted to make sure I got to camp in the daylight…makes everything so much easier and I’m still pretty new at the solo-camping experience.
WOW! Crazy Horse…. it was an amazing sight to see. The Crazy Horse Memorial is “to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians.” The entire carving is 641 ft long x 563 ft high! They are currently working on the arm and hand section. The image below is a scaled version of what Korczak Ziolkowski, the sculptor, envisioned for the Crazy Horse Memorial. He began work on the Memorial in 1947.
Ziolkowski estimated that it would take a 100 years to complete the Memorial. They have about 30 years left on that timeline. I’m not sure they will meet that. There’s still a lot to do. For $4, you can take a bus tour to the base of the mountain and get another view. It’s huge! The detail in the carving is absolutely amazing.
This gentlemen came out and told the story behind this dance, a little history and answered a few questions. He then demonstrated the dance for the crowd. His attire was absolutely stunning!
I would definitely recommend visiting Crazy Horse Memorial, if you are ever in the area. The craving may not be complete, but the visitor center and the history and story behind the craving is simply incredible. The passion for the supporting the North American Indians, the dedication the sculptor had to the project and the hope we learn from our history.
After Crazy Horse, I drove straight to camp….well… I did need to stop at the grocery store and pick up some firewood, marshmallows and carrots — for the wild donkeys I’ll be visiting the next day! Once to camp, I made myself a gourmet gluten-free meal of instant mash potatoes with bagged chicken. It’s the best go-to meal I have for simple camping. It never disappoints. That night, it was almost a full moon. I was playing with my 150-600mm lens and shooting the moon. Not too bad!