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June 10, 2008




I'm a travel journalist. I was there back in 1990. This memorial is nothing more than a permanent make work project for this family. They want to have a museum and a university and a full figure Crazy Horse on a horse. Maybe in 2500 it will be complete. I would bet, however, that the structure of the mountain will not be able to support such a grandiose work. The family has refused all efforts by the federal or SD government to advance the project because it would put the project under someone else's control. It's a huge scam. In 17 years of work, they have made little progress. When I was there, they were carving the nose. The Black Hills, however, are spectacular.


Skip the memorial and read the Journey of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III.


If you ever feel yourself inclined to go to Scotland and take a boat trip on Loc Lomond where the big selling point is to see the hideaway cave of Scottish hero Rob Roy MacGregor, don’t get overly excited. All you see is “THE CAVE” written in white wash paint on the rocks. I feel your pain. (it was a really nice boat ride though)


North Carolina is pretty good at the "Yep, there it is," attractions. I went to the Wright Bros. monument at Kittyhawk, which consisted of a visitor center overlooking a field featuring three rocks painted with numbers indicating the distance of each flight. But the real crowd pleaser is the "fort" at the lost colony of Roanoke. We were one of two cars parked in a lot for 400, we visited the eerily deserted visitor center, then took the path leading to the fort. We reached the rivers edge wondering how we missed the fort. A ranger we encoutered took us back up the path and pointed to dirt hole looking like something my dog might dig up in the backyard. Good times.



I'm sorry that you find the historic sites of the North Carolina Oute Banks so boring, but I would bet that Bean would love them. You seem to lack imagination when visiting these places.

I have also walked the windswept sand at Kitty Hawk, looked up at that monument on the dune, and hiked out across the site to those distance markers. Anyone who knows the history of aviation will be thrilled to do so.

As for Fort Raleigh. Dude, it was destroyed in 1588. That hole in the ground is what's called an "archaeological excavation." Did you really expect a wooden fort to last 500 years?


They need to build a casino.

Fred G.

Hey Bean,
Let us know when you go to the Grand Canyon Sky Walk. Thanks.


Die in a fire.


I've been to the Black Hills & Rushmore twice, and both times skipped the CrazyHorse monument. It's too expensive and can be seen from the road. But the drive through the Black Hills is amazing. The rest of South Dakota, enh. Though, Wall Drugs is a good site to see.
Did you make it to Badlands National Park?

Vic Rattler

I would love love love to get a series of entries on a new road trip taken WITH Donna. We'd get the Bean view in the post, and reader Your Wife would have her say in the first comment. Sure, it would most likely destroy what remains of this tenuous union, but it's be good for a laugh or two.

Question: In the event of dissolution who gets Tater?


I actually enjoyed my visit to the Crazy Horse Memorial project in 1997, but I don't look at it so much as "looking at a mountain". Rather, I look at it more as seeing the early stages of a monumental project that still has decades and decades to go until it's actually completed. And I really liked the sculpture of the fighting horses at the entrance.

I actually enjoyed it more than I did Mount Rushmore, which was more about "looking at a mountain". My main memory of Rushmore was when I overheard some kids talking. One of them asked, "hey, I see Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt, but who's that other guy?", and his friend said "I don't know, but I think it's Ford". So much for public education.

P.S. I thought Wall Drug Store was pretty silly, but I thought the Corn Palace was HILARIOUS. People in the middle of nowhere sure do come up with weird shit to entertain themselves! I only wish that I'd taken my SD trip about a month later so I could see the Sturgess convention.

I haven't made it to the Outer Banks yet, but I am looking forward to seeing Kitty Hawk and Roanoke. In spite of your opinions, Bruin.


I love the outer banks, enjoyed looking for the wild horses above Corolla, the lighthouse at Ocracoke and the people were very hospitable. However, I maintain that the "lost fort" is a government pork barrel hole in the ground.


They should rename this monument "chief crazy eyes."

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