Astronomy Magazine Eclipse Trip 2017 Day 11

Posted by David Eicher
on Thursday, August 31, 2017

The members of the Astronomy Magazine/TravelQuest National Parks of the West Northbound Tour. Photo by David J. Eicher.

On our journey’s last day of sightseeing, August 24, we worked our way into South Dakota and enjoyed not only a splendid hotel stay in Rapid City, but two wonderful monuments. 

First came the Crazy Horse Memorial, paying tribute to the Native American warrior who fought in the Battle of the Little Bighorn and died tragically young while he was in captivity. The work has been going on here since 1948, and the progress, slow as it is, keeps people coming back to see how the mountain has changed. It may be that this memorial moves on a timescale like that of some of the European cathedrals, slow and steady. The scale of this monumental work is staggering. 

And then, relatively nearby, we saw the great Mount Rushmore, with the enormous heads of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. This project spanned 1927 to 1941, and I can proudly say that I climbed a portion of Rushmore, and in homage to Cary Grant, managed not to fall off. 

We then had a farewell dinner, took a group photo, and — after two weeks, exhausted — bade farewell to many new friends and a few old friends too. What a wonderful trip it was, and the view of the eclipse couldn’t be beat. 

The Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. Photo by David J. Eicher.

The Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. Photo by David J. Eicher.

The Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota (background), with a model of the completed plan in foreground. Photo by David J. Eicher.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. Photo by David J. Eicher.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. Photo by David J. Eicher.

A model head of Washington, Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. Photo by David J. Eicher.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota. Photo by David J. Eicher.

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