A Travellerspoint blog

Rushing More

Cram it in!

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Joe:

Good morning. I wake up in my comfy RV cot and I notice that Ross and Judy left us a nice note and some breakfast. It was a banana, an orange, milk, and two pieces of banana bread with icing.
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People are so nice. We happily eat our best continental breakfast on the trip and we say goodbye to Ross and thanked him for everything.

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We head back up the mountain to Rushmore after a stop at Starbuck's to blog and finally straighten out my card account so we can get internet(damn Starbucks!).
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The rock formations are beautiful here and they pop right out of intensely green pine forests.
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We pass under this awesome tunnel and pass through the little tourist town of Keystone.
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I slow down at the end of the town and decide, "Let's stop and see this place." We go in the museum and find out that it is 8 bucks. Hell no! The nice lady responds, "Well feel free to explore the lobby."
We see some neat sculptures by Borgum the man who made Rushmore. One I liked was an original rough draft of a sculpture of Grant on a horse. It was entered into a competition but they contested that he wasn't ready and that he must have had help considering he was so young. Borgum said, "Screw it! I'm never doing a contest again. If you want me you've got to pay in advance."
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We talked to the tour guide again and she loved my awesome camera (everyone does.) It is an 8 year old nikon with an awesome swivel lens that's sturdy and simple and makes life easy. She was so excited that she could see herself on the screen as we took the pic.
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We go outside and walk a bit.
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We stopped in a shop and petted the real furs: cuyote, racoon, fox. The fox was the softest.
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I get riding and climb to the top of a mountain to and there it is.
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Back up the hill we went. The great thing about the ticket we got last night is that while we got in for free last night after missing the laser show and only having a ½ hour to see it, we have a free pass for the rest of 2009. So we showed our pass, and got in to see the much better looking version of Rushmore.
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Quest #2 (Quest #1 is still ongoing to eat at a Medieval Times)
Last night I looked around Rushmore and thought, humph, this looks nothing like the clips from the movie North by Northwest. Maybe I’ll be able to find the café Carey Grant ate at in the morning. Well, it was morning, and I still got nothing. So after taking the usual pics in front of the monument (the couple taking shots of the monument from the flags were the ones who took the pic of us), I approached an older looking park ranger who might know what I was talking about.

“Excuse me, have you seen the movie North by Northwest?” His look is already telling me he knows what I’m talking about, and I’m not going to like his answer.
“Yes I have.”
“Is the restaurant Carey Grant eats at around here?”

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Basically, in an attempt to modernize the place they moved the restaurant to the front and the visitors center closer to the monument and replaced all the 70’s forest-y architecture with “modern” rocky architecture. How could they do this? (I thought). We pass all these little towns bragging about having movie props from Dances with Wolves or whatever, and Mt. Rushmore friggin tears down their history for this blocky bla crap buildings with no heart or bragging rights about Carey Grant. No, all I saw was a sign (one) for “Location of Disney’s National Treasure 2” on the way to Keystone. Screw that! Just because it’s more recent doesn’t make it better. I was pissed. But the park ranger made up for it by giving me my favorite part of the trip thus far. He took out a map and gave us our entire itinerary for tomorrow (to be continued).

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So after we left talking with him, we finished up walking around Mt. Rushmore, and packed up to head for Crazy Horse down some crazy steep roads with great views.
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Everything we disliked about Mt. Rushmore... Crazy Horse did right.
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Short history: the Lakota tribe wanted the “white” man to know that the “red” man had heroes too, so they sent a letter to this guy named Korczak and asked him to make them a monument. Korczak had worked with Borglum on Mt. Rushmore, so he had experience with explosive sculpting. He accepted the job because he felt that it was the least he could do after what the “white” man had done. He also loved the quote from Crazy Horse who said when asked: “Where are your lands?” “My lands are where my dead are buried.” This is quote that goes along with Crazy Horse pointing as he rides. He is pointing to where his dead are buried. Well, Korczak worked on it for 5 years alone with a generator called Buda that would go “Ka-put, Ka-put, Ka-put” after he climbed several flights of stairs he had made up the Mt. side, and then he would have to climb back down and crank it up again. He eventually married and had 10 kids (if I remember right), and now he had help. He died before it was finished (obviously since its still in the making), but to this day his family still runs the operation, and they refuse government money (hence why it is still not done). Korczak didn’t want another Rushmore, where the government didn’t finish the vision (they were supposed to have bodies), and he believed that taxpayers shouldn’t pay for this. He believed that if it is to be built, that people should willingly give money to the project. So here is my plea, anyone who can, search online for information, I know you’ll love this place like I did, and send some money to Crazy Horse. It’s not just a monument, it is also going to be a center for education and cultural awareness for Native Americans. I’m not saying it all right of course, but look into it and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

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The place was great. On top of how cool the monument is looking while its not even done (the 4 busts at Mt. Rushmore would fit inside his hair), but the buildings were all log cabin style and gorgeous. Joe found a motorcycle made in honor of the monument, and we watched a video where we got to see plenty of explosives, and then Joe had to bribe me out of the shops (which were in the midst of Native American museum artifacts) by saying we could go to the restaurant and eat. There we ran into one of the daughters of Korczak!

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I recognized her from the video as one of the 7 kids who stayed around to finish the job their father started. She was awesome! I don’t think she was used to people treating her like a celebrity though, and I feel a little funky now for how excited I was to see her. After we sat to eat she came back over to us and talked to us about our trip, and we started showing her pics and videos from the Badlands. Also, the best part in my opinion, she saw my desktop picture of the drawing Jenna made of Reivan with short hair that I superimposed in the Sedona, and she thought it was me! I didn’t think my hair looked particularly good that night, but I did have an RV to sleep in the night before, so maybe it looked that good…

We shared the rest of the salad bar with workers on the monument who were eating with Korczak's wife and some of her family in the next room over!
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Really cool in my opinion, but I feel strange again treating them like celebrities.

Then, after blogging some (no wifi yet, but offline Word works too) we watched the laser show on Crazy Horse.

It opened with different colors morphing on the monument to Native American music,

and then the laser show started where it went through the history of the place, and the history of the Native Americans, and basically it was just great. I loved it, and it was totally worth waiting all day for. Originally we were only going to stay for a few hours, but after seeing the place and hearing about the laser show, we really couldn’t leave.
That night we found the Blackhills campground and froze the night there next to a camper who made a fence around their spot with rope lights (so cool looking at night).
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Posted by - Rain 14:23

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Comments

sometimes I wish I was native american

by Laurr

vanessa always wishes she was native american.
hey, did i miss something? why are you guys sleeping in an RV? i'll be posting pics and videos of brian's wedding on facebook later today i hope!

by georgi r

the park ranger looks like the guy in to movie promos that says "run, they are blowing up mt. rushmore and it's aliens!" ("it takes many phone calls to make a movie, but only one to ruin a movie")

by georgi r

I like the picture of you two kissing...I know you say you fight on the trip...but your really have some cute pictures that make it look like you both really love each other...because you do...

...Loni, my 3rd year room mate had a mink that she kept and would occasionally pet...it really creeped me out...to just pet that dead rat thing...lol...

by CoreyAnn

Sounds like a cool place. I haven't been to mount Rushmore yet. I'll have to plan a trip to go there and also see Crazy Horse

by buddy-JC

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