Mel And Nancy trip to Maritime Provences travel blog

Mel in the Caves

looking up in the cave

Iron Mountain Info

Mel in double tunnel

Mel overlook Mt Rushmore from road

Nancy with Buffalo

Mel's Patriotic Buffalo

Crazy Horse Sculpture

Monument at Dusk

Monument at Night

Today, we are off to the western side of Custer State Park. We started our day driving back to Mt Rushmore to see the museum, learning how it was built. We also took a short walk below the monument. It was short because most of the trails are still closed and park tours have not started yet. It was very informative.

After leaving Mt Rushmore, we drove the Iron Mountain Highway. It has some beautiful scenery but the most impressive sight was looking through some of the tunnels and look at Mt Rushmore at the same time. The tunnels are not nearly as small as the ones on the Needles Highway.

Then we were off to the Jewel Cave National Monument. They are very different from ones we have seen before. It is primarily a dry cave. It is part of the same massive Black Hills hydrologic system that developed Wind Caves. 175 miles [only 3% est] of this cave have been explored and mapped and ranks one of the longest caves in the world.

Next we went to Custer City; this is a neat little town. It has been able to keep its old country charm. The town has really cool painted Buffalo around town. But most important, it was the birthplace of my beloved bother-in-law, Bill. I didn’t realize that until recently.

We ended our day at Crazy Horse Monument. In 1948, 7 years after work stopped on Mt Rushmore, the carving of Crazy Horse started. The sculptor, Ziolkowski, who had been assistant to Borglum at Mt Rushmore, met with Chief Henry Standing Bear of the Oglala Sioux, who asked him to consider sculpting an American Indian. Standing Bear said, “I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, also.” Standing Bear and other Chiefs chose Crazy Horse. “Crazy Horse had been born in the Black Hills and partially credited with Custer’s sensational defeat.” It is said that the Crazy Horse Monument is so big that the Mt Rushmore monument can be placed in the hair of Crazy Horse. We stayed for the lazer show, which was nice.

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