Road trip of a few National Parks and Monuments in USA - Day 2

Asha Desh By Asha Desh, 24th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>South Dakota

Seven day road trip across four states in USA. Wake up to different historical sites each day , and, in the process, rekindle the inner self. - South Dakota

Crazy Horse Memorial

Day 2: South Dakota.
“The traveler sees what he sees; the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
This day involved travelling from Colorado, through Wyoming to South Dakota.
Sites visited: Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore and Bear Country (near Rapid City) in South Dakota, with a stopover at Lusk, Wyoming.

We started the first leg of the journey of 471 miles at 6.30 in the morning. The tour was very well organized, with stops at good intervals for stretching our legs or having some snacks and coffee. One of the stops was at Lusk, Wyoming. Lusk has the reputation of being the least populated county in the least populated state of US. It is a cute town, surrounded by the southeastern part of the Black Hill National Forest. Soon enough, we found ourselves at the foot of the Crazy Horse Memorial. This memorial is currently under construction, being carved into the Thunderhead Mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is a monument to honor the memory of the Native American hero, Crazy Horse. It is a large sculpture of an Indian Leader, called Crazy Horse, pointing to his land. When completed, it will be the largest sculpture in the world. Everyone was going crazy (pardon the pun!) trying to get photographed with this iconic structure in the background. By this time, our group had become really friendly and was taking each other’s pictures as they posed in front of this sculpture on the rocks.

Mount Rushmore

The next stop was at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, depicting the famous sculpture of the four US presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Our tour guide made it lively and entertaining by “Quizzing” us on American History. It was fun to see grown adults participating like kids, eager to answer his questions when they knew the answer or “Googling” as fast they could on their smart phones to find the answers. The first sight of the sculpture was so awe inspiring, that even the most avid photographer stopped for a minute before clicking furiously on the camera. The expression on the faces has been so well captured by the sculptor, they almost looked like they are about to speak to us. It was hard to leave that place, and as we did, not only did we silently commend the sculptor and the commissioner of the sculpture, but also the maintenance crew of today, who keep it looking ever green.

Bear Country

The last stop of the day was at Bear Country, near Rapid City. It is a drive through wild life park, and in addition to black bears we got to see a number of other wild animals, like Elk, Wolf, and many more. The previous sites of today were man made, in natural surroundings. Bear country is nature, surrounding us. There is something so endearing about seeing animals in their natural habitat. When our huge bus had to stop a few minutes because a bear, very nonchalantly, decided to cross the street that we were on, the bus resounded with the sound of a joint burst of laughter. Not to mention the whirl of the clicks of cameras.
We stayed the night at a place called Lead, (pronounced Leed ) in a nice hotel surrounded by mountains. I took a picture from our hotel room, describing it as a room with a mountain view, and then, laughed to myself. We were in South Dakota, every room probably has a mountain view! The tour guide informed us that if we so desired we could take the hotel shuttle to the local casinos for the night. No one paid heed. After visiting such legendary monuments no one was interested in a gambling casino!
I mused over the sites we had visited. These are not just sites for tourists, but indeed are legends, left by men of character, with a message to mankind. One can merely gaze at the structures, or look deeply into them. I sign off today with the quote by G. K. Chesterton, “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see”. I hope I have been a traveler and not a tourist.


Narrative Writing, Travel

Meet the author

author avatar Asha Desh
Freelance writer. My genre is a mixed bag . My articles include Reflections on life, Humor with meaningful messages, Travel, Light reading and Fiction.

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