Friday, April 27, 2007

Where in the World are Joann and Jack?

Answer: Still in Rapid City, SD. It has been another gorgeous day and not as much traveling. We started the day at Mt. Rushmore. They were filming the sequel to the movie National Treasure, but we didn't see the stars. Just loads of film crew standing around in various locations and lots of signs directing people to the set. However the set was off limits to the masses. It's very impressive seeing the sculptures up close and to read about the process of creating them. We then continued driving through the Black Hills to Crazy Horse Mountain. The Indian Nation contracted with a sculptor who was working on Mt. Rushmore at the time to create a monument for them. They chose Crazy Horse to represent them. His face is the only part of the sculpture completed at this time, but it is still in process. If you look close you can see the face on the mountain in the background near the highest point. The flat service in front of his face will be his arm pointing to all his lands. Even though the sculptor is dead, his widow and 7 of his ten children are still working on it. They've created a museum dedicated to the Northern American Indians that is as good as the Smithsonian's Native American Museum. The picture with the white sculptor is a model of what the sculpture will look like when completed. Continuing on to Lead, SD, an old Gold Mining town next to Deadwood, we stopped for lunch. The picture with the houses on the hill was taken in Lead. According to my half-sister, my Step-Mother was born and raised in Lead. We then went a couple more miles to Deadwood, which is the town used in the HBO series by the same name. We discovered that gambling is what saved the town from extinction. The casinos do not rival Vegas in glamor, but there are many of them. Not being gamblers, we didn't even step inside one. We then stopped at the Motorcycle Museum in Sturgis, the site of the world's largest annual motorcycle rally. They close down main street for a week in August and it is filled with bikes and bikers. Don't think we'll come back for that. We ended our day in downtown Rapid City where the town has added life size statues of US Presidents on the corner of each block. It's interesting to stand beside them. Reagan was the tallest and Madison the shortest. George W. is not there yet, but his Father is. It was a great day and we are now resting up for our drive tomorrow.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Oh, yes, I remember those towns discussed. Rapid City is one of those towns that is growing in popularity for location. A friend who is a doctor moved there and loves it, so he is staying for retirement.

Did you go into the saloon where Wild Bill Hickok was shot in the back in Deadwood? Evidentally WB would never sit with his back to the door. But this one time another gambler refused to move from WB's preferred spot. A angry loser shot WB in the back. He and Calamity Jane are buried next to each other.

You should avoid the Stugis cyclists in August. When Lewis and drove there August 1990, the interstate was cycle to cycle, and every tourist attraction from Wall Drugs, Mt. Rushmore,Deadwood, the camp grounds etc. was parked full with cycles. I had never seen so many in my life and haven't since. The news headlines reported that 50,000 celebrated the 50th anniversary of this journey in 1990; that may be about what the population of SD is.

Mother always talked about the board sidewalks that she treked to school on in Lead. Her violin career ended when she fell down on the instrument.

Our college president and his wife, Missourians, came to the Delta from SD. They are big people, but each rode their own motorcycles. He must weigh over 300 pounds, and she is a large woman. They made the Sturgis journey, and their sons wondered why their mother was on television in black leather motorcycle gear.

Keep up the good reports.

Love, Marilyn