Sunday, August 26, 2007

Old Faithful erupts!!

Saturday August 25, 2007

Old Faithful erupts!

This make take a moment to load. If you have never seen it, the steam is over 200 feet high, it last 3 to 5 minutes depending on how long and how intense the last eruption was.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Crazy Horse Mountain

Sunday, August 19, 2007


As you are driving along I-395, you see the mountain in the distance.

When Crazy Horse was asked, "Where are your lands now?", Crazy Horse replied,
"My lands are where my dead lie buried."


He is pointing to his land.

From inside the Visitor Center is this view of what the mountain will eventually look like.


This picture, in the studio, shows how the completed project will look.


Korczak Ziolkowski - the sculptor who envisioned the design and began the work. He was invited by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear to do the carving. He arrived in the Black Hills on May 3, 1947 to accept the Indian's invitation. He started work on the mountain in 1949. He was almost 40 years old and had only $174 left to his name. Over the decades, he battled financial hardships, racial prejudice, injuries and advancing age. He believed in the free enterprise system, he felt Crazy Horse should be non-profit, educational, and cultural; a humanitarian project built by the interested public, and not the tax payer.

Some of the master sculptor's other pieces on display.


This mahogany horse was carved in nine days.


This motorcycle was raffled off to raise money. Crazy Horse monument is NOT funded by the government - only private donations keep the project going.

The motorcycle was taken to the top of the mountain for this photograph.

On August 10th, a couple of weeks ago, the winner was announced.


These beads came from an Italian manufacturer, were transported over the oceans specifically for trading with Indians.


Some very unique bead work on display.

In the artist's studio, is this Deadwood stagecoach.


Every night at 9 pm, the park puts on a Laser Show lasting about twenty minutes, rain or shine. We almost didn't go because of all the thunder and lightening that night. But we only had this one chance, and luckily it didn't rain - we enjoyed the show. Came down in buckets five minutes later though, as we were driving back to camp.

Images were displayed on the side of the mountain. We were over a half a mile, maybe a mile away from the mountain. The images were huge. When you consider Mt. Rushmore would be able to fit inside Crazy Horse's head, this will give you some scale as to how large the images were.


Mt Rushmore

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Our first view of Mt. Rushmore was through a tunnel cut through the rock on Highway 16a. In all, there were a total of 3 tunnels, each with it's own spectacular view.

How was Mt. Rushmore named?

Mt. Rushmore was named after a New York lawyer, Charles E. Rushmore, who was in the Black Hills in 1885 researching mining camps for area mining companies. The official name change occured on July 4, 1930, by the U.S. Board of Geographic names.

Driving for miles along the highway, the monument is visible through trees in unexpected places. You just have to keep an eye out.

You come to an opening, and there it is, in all it's glory.

What are the dimensions of the heads?

Face: Approx. 60 feet from the chin to the top of the head.
Eye: Approx. 11 feet across.
Nose: Approx. 20 feet (except Washington's which is 21 feet).
Mouth: Approx. 18 feet across.

The faces are scaled to a figure 465 feet tall. The full sculpture is 185 feet across and 150 feet tall.

How long did it take to carve the mountain?

The sculpture took 14 years. Work began on October 4, 1927, and ended on October 31, 1941. Considering delays from weather and interrupted funding, the actual time spent working was a total of 6 1/2 years.


Gutzon Borglum - Sculptor of Mt. Rushmore.

For Borglum, Washington represented the BIRTH of our country, since he was our first president. Jefferson, symbolized EXPANSION, he was largely responsible for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The sculptor chose Lincoln to embody the PRESERVATION of the Union of States in confronting the challenges of the Civil War. Theodore Roosevelt represented the DEVELOPMENT of our country with the construction of the Panama Canal.


Inside the museum are shown various tools and procedures used to create the monument.

Chandelier hanging in the cafeteria shows men in Bosun Chairs doing the carving.


Lou, bigger than life, camera in hand.


Quite a splendid walkway they've created, displaying the flags of each of the states.


As we were leaving, we got another view - the profile of Washington. If you read the plate above, it tells how Jefferson was originally to be on Washington's right side, but due to the poor rock quality, had to be moved to his left side. The work which started on Jefferson had to be blasted away, and as a result, created this unexpected profile of Washington.

The Black Hills are truly beautiful!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Freeway walls in Colorado

Thursday, August 16

As we drove north to the Air Force Academy, the detail in the freeway walls demanded your attention. Many different designs with unbelievable detail.

City of Cheyenne

Friday, August 17, 2007

First United Methodist Church

St Mary's Cathedral

Cheyenne State Capitol Building

Victorian home that was converted into a Funeral Home.


Boots are very big in Wyoming. They paint them and leave them all over town. These boots are around 5 feet tall.

This ones in front of the train station.

So is this one.


The best restaurant in Cheyenne. Built as America's only authentic sliceria, Pizzeria Venti serves over 20 kinds of pizza by the slice. What makes this restaurant unique is that there are only 6 stores in the USA and the owner traveled to Italy to be trained. Not only did he bring back the recipes, the stores also import the water from Italy to make their dishes. We had timpanini (stuffed pizza pie) and bocce balls (no, not rocky mountain oysters), large meatballs encased in pasta dough, served with marinara sauce. Quite a treat.


The magnificent train station.

Inside, pretty much as is was when built.
A large concession stand was removed from the left side wall.

Within 5 minutes of entering the station, this downpour began. Lasting only another 5 and it was gone as quickly as it came.

This beautiful entrance allowed carriages to enter the train station for discharging their VIP passengers next to the train cars. Or, they could disembark to the safety of the waiting room if it was raining, as it was in the picture above.

Terry Bison Ranch Cheyenne

August 17 2007

The is a working ranch of 28,000 acres, which is also a RV campground. They have a bison herd numbering 4,500. We stayed here 3 days, close enough to also visit Cheyenne.

Yep, it's a prairie dog!

We took a bus tour through the bison herd.

Big, ugly, mangy critters!

For supper, we had our first bison burger. Very lean meat, low in cholesterol. Actually, wasn't too bad.


Closer to the rv park, were other assorted "true cowboy" animals.