In July, we made our first post-covid flight and visited the Wild West area of the United States, including Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota.
In a previous post linked here, I described our stop in Deadwood South Dakota where we stayed at the haunted Bullock hotel. But this specific post will focus on The Black Hills region of South Dakota, very close to the town of Keystone.
Keystone is actually a very active town to stay and visit. Even without those two attractions in the title, there were so many activities in the area and we did not come close to attending to all of them. Some of our options were…. Ziplining, Gold-Hunting, Cave-Exploring, Helicopter Rides, driving through Bear Country, and riding an authentic Steam Locomotive, among so many more… I would absolutely recommend this visit for a family with children just due to the variety of activities available.
We purposely came here in order to see Mount Rushmore (a lifetime bucket-list item). And we also purposely chose a scenic route through the national park in order to see the distant views of it get closer as we made our approach. It’s pretty amazing to see it from so far away and realize what a landmark it is.
But quite accidentally…. we then found ourselves visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial. I have never heard of this before in my life! But en route to Mount Rushmore, we saw some signs for it and it piqued our curiousity enough that we wanted to check it out. Have any of you all heard of this?! Is this the country’s best-kept secret, or have I been living under a rock (pun intended) this whole time?!
And holy smokes, I’m so glad that we did we stop because this was the highlight of my entire trip for me.
In the same Black Hills area, a few miles away from Mount Rushmore, they are actually carving a statue of Crazy Horse into the mountain in his tribute. Crazy Horse is one of the most famous native American warriers from the Oglala Lakota tribe.
They’ve only completed just his face up to this point, but when they are done… it will be him riding on top of his horse. When this is finished, it will be the largest statue IN THE WORLD. A legit contender for the 8th Wonder of the World. And it’s in South Dakota of all places. Can you believe it?!
Just to give you some perspective on how huge this will be when it’s done… the faces on Mount Rushmore are 60ft tall. Crazy Horse’s face (already completed) is 87ft. And they still have to complete his body and a horse! Below is the design they are planning for this when it is done:
This was the coolest thing for me to see. They say it will take 30 years to finish it, and I hope that I’m still alive when it is done because I do want to view it with my very own eyes. I’m adding this finished memorial to my lifetime bucket list when I’m finally retired, as this will be amazing!
If you want more info about this memorial, their official website is linked here. One of the most interesting things about this effort, is that they are accepting absolutely ZERO government funding for it. Which makes sense considering WHO they are paying tribute to, as Crazy Horse died fighting against the U.S. government. Seems just. So this is funded by private donations only and the link to their official website above has info on how to contribute if you are so inclined.
Anyhow, I hope you all enjoyed my recap of my trip here. If you’ve visited already, how was it for you?