Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 10 Thermopolis to Devils Tower to Mt. Rushmore

We left our Rainbow Trout Motel in downtown Thermopolis early. Off to Mt. Rushmore, we went through TenSleep Canyon and over the Bighorn Mountains where we found ourselves stopped by a cow stampede – really a mosey by the cows – we had to wait for them to cross. Now we are in the Great Plains – it is really flat! Life must have been hard for the early settlers because we passed creeks names Dead Horse creek and Crazy Woman creek. We are not sure what happened first.
Next we stopped at Devils Tower. Our fun loving prairie dogs were there - we made a movie of one so you can hear them talking - like a squeak toy. The best story of Devils Tower is the Indian story - some children were getting away from a bear and a tree stump helped them by growing tall - the sides of the tower are the claw marks of the bear. It is really tall.
Then we stopped at Crazy Horse Memorial. What an inspiring place. It is a memorial honoring the Indian hero Crazy Horse. It was started in 1948 and currently the face is completed and they are working on his arm and horse – it is the entire mountain. The sculptor who started it has died, but he had 10 children and now 7 of the children are continuing his work. It is fascinating to see the work in progress.
Next stop is Mt. Rushmore. As we drive into the mountains, we are looking for it (and Rocky Raccoon – he is somewhere in the Black Hills of South Dakota), each turn anticipating the faces – then it is there! What a story – whoever thought of carving faces in a mountain. We stayed for the evening program at 9 which was very inspiring. Who can name the presidents – Washington –founder, Jefferson – expansion (Louisiana Purchase), Lincoln – preservation, T. Roosevelt – development (conservation of natural wonders).

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