Road Trip: Rest of Day 2 (South Dakota)

Day 2 of mine and Jennifer’s road trip was quite ambitious. We did everything we had planned for the day: Badlands National Park, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and drove through the Black Hills National Forest.

Mt. Rushmore, was stop number 2 of the day. After the heat and sun in Badlands NP, we generously reapplied our sunscreen. Once we arrived at the National Memorial, we found the weather to be overcast, windy, and needing a jacket. It was nice after the heat of the morning. Mt. Rushmore was created by Gutzon Borglum and the presidents he chose to sculpt were because they stood for the “foundation, preservation, and continental expansion of the United States.” These presidents are George Washington (founding), Thomas Jefferson (growth), Theodore Roosevelt (preservation), and Abraham Lincoln (development). Pretty cool, I’d say. Borglum said this about Mount Rushmore, “…let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and rain alone shall wear them away,” (National Park Service).

Mt Rushmore 1

Mt Rushmore 2

Our next stop was just a short drive away: Crazy Horse Memorial. It is a memorial to North American Indians that has been in progress since 1948. It is not federally or state funded, just donations. Korczak Ziolkowski is the sculptor behind the design. His family is still in charge of the carving of the Memorial. The Native Americans chose to have Crazy Horse as the Memorial because he was from the Black Hills area, defended his people, and when asked “Where are your lands now?” by the white man, his response was, “My lands are where my dead lie buried.” The Black Hills of South Dakota are sacred to Native Americans so I think it seems extremely fitting that a memorial to them is there.  I enjoyed this stop. Besides the Memorial, there are several galleries, museums, and educational/cultural areas. If you get the chance, you should visit Crazy Horse Memorial.

crazy horse 1

The Crazy Horse Memorial

crazy horse 2

Scale replica created by Ziolkowski with the Memorial in the distance.

Our last adventure for the day was driving through the Black Hills National Forest on US Hwy 385 towards our evening destination of Spearfish, SD. It was a little rainy and yet we still got to see the sun set over the trees as we drove through. I hope to one day visit again so that I can see and do more. One day was just not enough.

Black Hills Road Sunset

black hills 2

The Black Hills National Forest: slightly rainy, slightly dark, totally gorgeous!

On another note, today was the first day of my internship at Eastern Oregon University. I’m excited about it. I met a bunch of people and am hoping to remember most of them. It’ll take time though. So far, I have 3 main projects: orientation, helping implement OrgSync for student organizations, and helping to revise the student code of conduct. Should be fun. 🙂

Again, I took all the pictures.

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3 thoughts on “Road Trip: Rest of Day 2 (South Dakota)

  1. Laura says:

    I always wondered the reason behind each President chosen for Mount Rushmore. And I had no idea that Crazy Horse has been going on since 1948! Very interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing the info!

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