Friday, July 8, 2011

Blog 17

Thursday, 7 July
We left Mitchell and the Corn Palace far behind us, including a lovely thing I tried to lure away. But she was a young thing and could not leave her mother.
There was also a T-Rex involved in the escape, but that's another story.

Crazy Horse from our campsite.

Probably from the first time we crossed the country from Oregon and back, we have stopped at the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills not far from its more famous neighbor, Mt. Rushmore. Mt. Rushmore is justifiably famous but it is dwarfed in size and concept by Crazy Horse, or, at least the conception of what it will come to be when finished many years away. In fact, all four of the faces in Mt. Rushmore will fit in the head of Crazy Horse, the only completed portion of the memorial.
Crazy Horse was started by one person, Korczak Ziolkowski, who had but $174 to his name when he began the work. Korczak worked alone for many years, then his children joined him, and, at the time of his death in 1982, not a single feature could be distinguished. The family has continued his dream, and now, with the face completed and much of the horse's head cleared for carving, the work has accelerated. The work is far from over, however, and, like the cathedrals of Europe, the work may take several generations.
Crazy Horse from US 385
Anyway, Valerie and I are much impressed with the concept and the passion of the work and, in our small way, like to support it. As we have done before, we camped in the Crazy Horse Heritage campground within sight of this work.
Friday, 8 July
In the morning went to the nearby visitor's center, dropped a few coins on the usual stuff and ogled at the amazing collection of Native American artifacts that have been donated, and the amazing photographs of Edward Curtis.

Then it was time to move on and out of this beautiful and inspiring land which the United States, in spite of treatises, stole from the people who considered sacred.
As we moved northward thunder storms began to form in the snow capped peaks. It was beautiful to watch from our safe distance.
Along the way, I was hooked by a billboard advertising Red Ass Rhubarb Wine made by Prairie Berry Winery. I had to stop and try some and ended up buying three bottles and three bottles more of their Crab Apple Wine as well. It's good stuff!
We had taken a bit too much time at the visitors center and the winery and were now late. We decided to call ahead to reserve a site in Hardin, MT. They warned us to watch out for a very strong storm poised to hit them. We had be watching thunderstorms forming in the mountains along side our route and were amazed at their beauty. Their warning reminded us that these storms, while perhaps beautiful, can be quite dangerous, especially in our rig, which is more like a box kite than an RV.
A storm avoided.
We spotted the storm well ahead of us and noted that it appeared to be headed east, perpendicular to our route, and that, at worst, we might hit its tail end. As it turned out we pulled to the side of the road until the winds dropped a bit and then proceeded on without incident.

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