Rapid City, South Dakota

July 2004

Just outside Rapid City is the Hart Ranch RV Resort, one in our Coast to Coast group - and a very nice park.  Mount Rushmore is not far and that was our first stop.  Gerry remembers having to park along the highway and walking up dusty trails for a view.  Now there is a big parking garage, paved viewing areas, displays inside a large building and a snack bar and restrooms.  A hiking trail with steps leading up to viewing platforms goes close to the monument.   It is an awesome sight and the story of its construction is a wonder.


Click on each thumbnail to see larger picture.

Mt. Rushmore


Gerry on the Trail

Not too much farther we found the Crazy Horse Monument, a work in progress.  When completed, it will be Crazy Horse seated on his horse.  Right now only his face and the top portion of one arm have been completed.  An Indian cultural museum is housed nearby with many Indian artifacts and displays and photos.  While we were there, two different groups of dancers performed demonstrations.


Crazy Horse Monument Dancing

We took the long way home via the wildlife drive through Custer State Park, hoping to see some of the large herd of bison that calls the park home.  we saw a few elk, deer and one big bison.  Then as we were about the leave the park, a huge herd of them came right up the road towards us.  They were on both sides of the car, so close you could almost reach out and touch them.

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Pronghorn Elk Herd of Bison

After Kevin Costner completed Dances with Wolves (filmed in South Dakota), he wanted to build a big hotel near Deadwood, but could not get the backing.   A huge bronze sculpture of 14 bison and Indians that he had already commissioned eventually became the centerpiece for Tatanka, a Tribute to the Bison.  The sculpture depicts a buffalo jump, commonly used by the Plains Indians to kill large numbers of bison.  


Life Size Sculptures