We were in South Dakota for a long weekend and naturally took in Mount Rushmore, the state's best and best known attraction. I say that being fully aware of the Outhouse Museum in Gregory, the National Presidential Wax Museum in Keystone, and the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
I conned convinced my wife to make the short seventeen mile drive through the beautiful winding roads of the Black Hills to stand in awe of the Chief Crazy Horse Memorial, which had been under construction since 1948 but surely must be nearly done.
My recollection is that the roads were poorly marked and our directions were somewhat sketchy and we got a little lost, maybe a lot lost. So we ended up driving for about two hours on roads that all looked the same and then we saw it.
A chalk outline on a hill.
Thinking this couldn't be all there was to the "world's largest mountain carving" we drove on and eventually came to a park entrance where we learned that for only fifteen dollars we could drive another half hour and get close enough to the mountain to see the fine detail of the historic artwork. So we did.
And we saw a chalk outline on a hill, only closer.
The Chief Crazy Horse Memorial was in the news last week as June 3rd marked the 60th anniversary of the start of its construction. Apparently the face of the Chief is now done and a welcome center and one Indian museum building is open "but the carving of the Lakota warrior's body, his horse, and a planned university and medical training center for American Indian students are still years away," says this Associated Press article on the occasion.
Here is the official website of the Memorial, with the history of Crazy Horse, and the construction webcam that I have never actually gotten to work. Weak.