George and Crazy Horse...a Steal!
Keystone Travel Blog› entry 5 of 7 › view all entries
May 6th, 2008 – by: seventy6daytripper
Driving through the forests, I couldn't help but notice quite a few dead trees throughout the area. Laying among the hills like toothpicks, each tangling of lumber seemed to tell a different story. It seemed random, misplaced and odd looking. We later found out it was because of the notorious bark beetle, but seeing this unsettling sight while driving through a national park put a damper on our day a bit. Rocking out to "The Final Countdown" by Europe on the iPod (we were just going down the alphabet, haha), we finally reached the entrance to the Mt.
I know I know...."you could've given your money to the national park! That's a good cause!" You're correct....it's a great one. That's why each of us gave about $50 to the parks in our week of travels. $15 one way or the other, no disrespect to the park. But why pay for that when you've got just as good or better view from OUTSIDE the visitor's center?
On our way down the mountainside, we kept seeing President Washington's profile....we thought nothing of it at first...then Phil had the brilliant idea to stop and take funny pictures with it.
When we arrived at the entrance (our exit) to the park, we noticed some amazing rocks on the hillside and decided it was time for a climb. You know...just an afternoon climb! Everybody does it, right? Armed with my camera and spider grip (haha, I wish), I ambled up the rocks with the roommates. We played around on the rocks for a good hour or so....with the more experienced climbers (Phil and Colin) taking on the more sheer faces...while Eli and myself stayed low to the ground. We found some caves, a few crevasses, and even a bear or two (kidding about the bear).
When we had enough, we climbed back into the car (much unlike how we climbed up the rocks) with only a cut here or there. We felt like we got the best of the rocks, and were feeling good as we headed to our next national monument. Crazy Horse was about a 45-minuted drive away, and along the way we passed terrain not unike what I feel safe to say was terrain much like where I grew up. Rolling hills, forests, and all the concrete you could ever need to get from A to B.
Would you believe it. We got to Crazy Horse and faced the same no-brainer dilemma that we faced on Rushmore! Again, it cost to get in to see the monument! $20 this time. Our reply to the guard when we realized the monument was unfinished and expensive: "Um...we'll come back when it's finished. Can we just turn around?" Like she'd heard it a million times, she said that wasn't a problem and for us to go down about a 6-iron's distance away and make the U-turn. I thought this was interesting. A u-turn just for the cheap/thrifty visitor? Very intersting. See Crazy Horse was started in 1948.
Colin, the driver, and I were thinking the same thing. I, being in the back right-hand side of the car, had my camera ready as we went down the hill to the u-turn. With my window rolled down and Colin easing on the break, I got 2 great pictures of the monument as we inched around the turn. If anyone was paying attention, they'd have thought we were ridiculous. Not obvious or ANYTHING. Hahahahahaha....but we got a great picture.
These pictures do tell a story. A story about 4 famous presidents and 4 creative college kids not willing to spend their rice money on a closer view of Teddy's nose. Legitimate, right? We captured Crazy Horse's unfinished beauty, and our unfinished trip around the u-turn to the exit.
Because we were. We never got out. Sightseeing at its finest. Next stop? Devil's Tower! Same results perhaps? Surely not...
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