Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

We've arrived at Crazy Horse and found our place on the lawn!

There were a few sprinkles, so honey ran back to the truck...

A small part of the crowd to my left...

There she blows, not much damage for over 4,000 tons of rock!

a lot of fine dust blowing in the wind!

There will soon be pieces of this available for a small donation....

The dust is sure filling the valley to the right of the...

On Wednesday Dick, Terry, Larry & I arrived at Crazy Horse Memorial to witness one of the largest blasts in the history of the project. In case you are not familiar with it, Crazy Horse is a memorial to the famous Native American leader, Crazy Horse, in the form of a huge stone carved statue of a rider on horseback. Korczak depicted Crazy Horse with his left hand pointing in answer to the derisive question asked by a white man, "Where are your lands now?" Crazy Horse replied, "My lands are where my dead lie buried. "

In 1939, Henry Standing Bear, an Oglala chief, wrote to Korczak Ziolkowski, a sculptor who had assisted in carving the Presidential faces on Mount Rushmore. Standing Bear invited him to build a monument to Crazy Horse. "My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes too," he wrote. Indian representatives were adamant that a home for the monument be found in the Black Hills - sacred land of their people.

Accepted Standing Bear's invitation and with his own savings, Ziolkowski obtained a special permit that allowed him to stake a mining claim on a mountain in the Black Hills. On June 3, 1948, with 5 survivors of the Battle of the Little Bighorn attending the ceremonies, Ziolkowski watched as Standing Bear and South Dakota Gov. George T. Mickelson set off the first charge of dynamite. The sculptor and the Indian chief had launched a dream.

Sixty years after Ziolkowski began carving Crazy Horse Memorial, his family continues the dream and work progresses on the world's largest mountain sculpture. When finished, Crazy Horse will stand 641 feet long and 563 feet high. Crazy Horse's completed head is 87 feet 6 inches high. In comparison, the heads of Mt. Rushmore are 60 feet high. Meaning, all 4 of the Mt Rushmore heads together are smaller than Crazy Horse's! The horse's head, currently the focus of work on the mountain, is 219 feet or 22 stories high.

And so, today as work continues on the horse’s head, this blast will remove 4,362 tons from the 300 bench. The 300 bench represents work being done 300 feet below the top of Crazy Horse’s head.

Blasts of this magnitude have been very rare in the project’s 61-year history. To provide some perspective, 4,362 tons is the equivalent of 363 dump truck loads of rock.

I'm not quite sure what we expected, but it was more than we saw to be sure! There was a brief flash and then a series of 'dust' clouds and then, silence. It was over in the blink of an eye! We video taped it, but am posting a Youtube link that is better. My Nikon D-50 lens broke as we entered the property. Completely froze up, with things rattling inside it! Oh no, a disaster for me! I have a bid on ebay for a new one that ends tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed for me OK? I need a new lens pronto!

So, I used my Canon A-540 for a few shots, but can you believe has since died as well! So, I am currently cameraless. My heart is having serious palpitations! I'm in the market for a new point & shoot for my birthday in 2 weeks. Any suggestions? Think I've narrowed it down to a Canon A2100 with video capability. Can't find anything here locally so will need to order it online. Will order Monday, so if you have any suggestions, let me know ASAP please.

You can view the blast at the link below. Have a great day!

Crazy Horse

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