Thursday, 24 July 2014

Day 59: Wall SD to Deadwood SD. 360km

It was going to be a short trip to Deadwood today.
We found some diversions along the way.
Come and see what we have discovered in South Dakota.
Just a few miles from Wall is the Badlands National Park.
Each time we visit a National Park in the USA we see another aspect of creation. We are glad that we are able to see these mighty places.
The national parks are accessible to everyone, too. I think that the seeing the scenes from the back of a motorcycle is a special privilege.
We follow the gravelled loop road and quite soon we find that we are the only people on the road.
It leads around the western rim of the National Park through extensive grasslands and into farmland.
We emerge onto the highway and head northwest to Mt. Rushmore.
After lunch in the village we follow the traffic to the Mt Rushmore memorial. I catch glimpses through the trees as we ride through the forest. Access is via the parking toll gates. $10 for a motorcycle.
This is what everyone comes to see.
Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln.
The Mt Rushmore museum and the film tell how the original idea was conceived as a tourism project in the 1920's and how the sculptures were made by Gutzon Borglum and his team from 1927 till 1941.

The heads are 60 felt high.

Five great men.
The profile of George Washington just a mile or so down the road.
We are going to see another major project...
Crazy Horse - a Lakota elder when asked where his lands were reportedly said
"My lands are where my dead lie buried".
The Crazy Horse project involves building a sculpture of Crazy Horse that shows him on a horse with his arm outstretched toward the land that had been forcibly taken from his people.
We were both greatly affected by the background and the magnitude of this project.
It is 27km from Mt Rushmore in the Black Hills.
The sculptor Korczak ZiolKowski was commissioned in 1939 by Standing Bear a Lakota Indian elder to build a sculpture. Korczak designed and began working on the project 1948 and worked alone for ten years. He died in 1982. His wife (who died this year) and seven of his ten children continue to work on the project.
The project includes the sculpture and educational and medical facilities.
What an amazing vision for a family to carry out into the next generations.
We left Crazy Horse with plenty to think about and as we road into Deadwood...
We were confronted with a road block and a shootout.
Deadwood is a town that has featured in the history of the west and in many movies.
The entire town is a National Historical Landmark. Gold was found here in the Black Hills in 1876.
I'll talk some more about the town in my next post.
We have a rest day scheduled for tomorrow.
Mona welcomes us and shows us to our room in Deadwood Dick's Hotel.
In the evening we go along to the play re enacting Trial of Jack McCall, the man who shot Wild Bill Hickok.
The play has been running for more than 80 years.
Loads of sensory input today.
Much to think about.



Ken said...

Great blog Diana. Well done!

Diana said...

Thanks, Ken. I appreciate your comment. It was a day of contrasts and historical complexity.

Scotty said...

I haven't been to South Dakota since I was 8. Your blog is making me want to go back. Thanks again for sharing your perspective on my giant country.

Diana said...

We are loving riding through your magnificent country. It is great that the National Parks are accessible to everyone.
Glad to hear from you.