I budgeted today to do some sightseeing at the Crazy Horse monument and Mount Rushmore. Staying in Custer was a good idea since it’s less than 20 miles from Mount Rushmore and only about 4 miles from Crazy Horse.
Crazy Horse was the first stop of the day and I’m really glad it was. It is an amazing place and well worth the trip. They have an extensive museum and educational center where visitors can learn about Crazy Horse’s life and Native American culture. I made a donation in order to take a van ride up to the arm and got a pleasant surprise when I found out that Gavin McLeod was also going up. The trip to the top was great and we were fortunate to also be joined by Joel, one of sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski’s sons. Between Pete and Joel we learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes at the monument. The view from the top was amazing and is a memory I will always treasure.
After that I headed up to Hill City for lunch and a stop at the local dealer to pick up some shirts. Unfortunately, the dealer was closed so I settled for a buffalo burger at The Bouncing Buffalo.
Finished with lunch I set out for Mount Rushmore. The roads out to it were a lot of fun to ride, with lots of twisties to keep you paying attention. Thanks to a tip from a fellow rider I got rock star parking in lot 6 and headed in. After seeing Crazy Horse I was a little underwhelmed, but it was still a very impressive site and I’m glad I went. There is a really nice trail which takes you around to different views. A word of advice, if you don’t want a workout, start the trailto the left. If you start it on the right you will climb a lot of stairs.
And finally I headed back to the hotelfor an early night since I want to get an early start tomorrow. The Badlands await…