Friday, September 9, 2011

Rapid City and Crazy Horse

We made a few day stop in Rapid City. Our mailing service, America's Mailbox, moved earlier this year and so we wanted to get our driver's licenses and voting registration updated. We also planned to stop in at our financial advisor who is in the area as well.  One of the main reasons America's Mailbox moved to Box Elder, right next to Rapid City, was to set up a campground that people who are setting up residences here can have an easy place to stay. Of course anyone can stay there. They are planning on expanding and improving it as now it is pretty much just an open field. The office is very nice. America's Mailbox had us fill out forms for the voter registration and they would then take care of it from there. We went down to the license office and had our new licenses within about 20 minutes or so. So easy and people are so friendly and helpful there. We also made a stop at the Social Security office to get addresses changes as Joe had tried several times to do online and it never changed. This also was pretty easy and fast.
As we had been here last year for a week, we had done most of the tourist things. One thing we didn't do was see the Crazy Horse Memorial and so one day we headed there to check it out.
It is the world's largest mountain carving in the world and is still in the process of being worked on. Korczak Ziolkowski,  a New England sculptor, first came to the Black Hills to help Gutzon Borglum on Mount Rushmore in 1939. Chief Standing Bear, of the Lakota tribe, asked him to build a monument of Crazy Horse as a tribute to the traditions and culture to all North American Indians. Ziolowski made his first blast on the mountain  in 1948 and continued it until his death in 1982. His wife and some of his ten children are continuing the process. It is a non profit and they refuse to take any money from the state or federal government and so it will probably take many more years to finish. The entire carving, when done, will be 641 feet long in the round and 563 feet high in the round. The face alone is 87 feet, 6 inches and this part is actuallly completed.

They also have a wonderful Museum and culture center. We watched a very interesting film on the sculptor which encludes footage of him working on it. The Crazy Horse Memorial mountain crew uses precision explosive engineering to carefully and safely remove and shape the rock of the mountain. When Ziolkowski first worked on it, he had veryold equipment. He  would climb up his wooden ladder with all his equipment to where he was drilling which was about 700 feet or so. Sometimes he would get part way or all the way and his old air compressor for his drill would go kaput. He then had to climb all the way down to fix it. Sometimes this might happen a few times in one day. Even with the newer equipment it is a time consuming project.

The picture in the center is what it will look like when it is done. One of the other reasons we are in the Rapid City area is to go to Freightliner for service and also to get the overheating problem fixed. We have been to two other Freightliners and neither could solve the problem. It looks like these people have determined the problem. It needed a new fan clutch and sensor. We took it in one day and then returned the next when the parts came in . Also they worked with the insurance company and the insurance will be paying for the repair. Yeah!!!!!                                                       

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