Today was a full day. We started off with Mt. Rushmore, which was far more impressive than I imagined it could be. The monument itself is extraordinary; the view from the monument is stunning. This is the kind of thing that future civilizations will uncover and they will wonder who these deities were and what could they have meant to the primitive creatures that worshiped them. It is worthy of Lord of the Rings or something just as epic. There is also a gift shop.
We moved from there to the Crazy Horse monument, still under construction. This was something of a let-down. The story behind the monument is amazing but the thing itself is just not there enough yet to really hit you where it counts. If it turns out anything like the drawings it will rival Mt. Rushmore’s mythic qualities, but right now there is just this apologetic vibe to the whole thing. And you can’t get within a mile of it without shelling out a lot of cash.
And then there was Deadwood. I’m glad I saw it. The frustrating thing is that besides the cemetery everything that made Deadwood famous is gone, covered up with casinos. There was something about seeing the graves of Wild Bill, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock that gave me a thrill, though. Bullock’s grave requires some serious effort to get to, but it was worth it. And again, the views are unbelievable.
Tomorrow we hope to get a look at Little Big Horn in Montana, but we have a lot of distance to cover by Wednesday so we shall see.
Addendum: If you ever find yourself in Gillette, Wyoming, I highly recommend Humphrey’s Sports Bar and Grill. We had some fantastic steaks, and the bread comes with this cinnamon-butter thing that was a religious experience. And they have something like forty different kinds of beer, if you like that sort of thing.