Bryn: Our first stop of the day was at the Crazy Horse Memorial. It's over 50 years old but is still under construction, and it will probably take another 100 years to finish. Even in it's present state, it is amazing to behold. This mountain in the Black Hills is being sculpted to depict Crazy Horse, a famous Oglala Lakota leader, on his horse. It is truly huge - the 4 president heads at Mt Rushmore will fit into the area of his hair. The buildings around the memorial contain the artist's home and studio, a museum of Native American Art, and a cultural center that was filled with Native artists selling their wares. A great morning for all of us, but especially me!
Bret: I wanted to stop at Cosmos Mystery area because it sounded really interesting, and it was really interesting. We saw lots of odd stuff happen. Reed was as tall as I was, and I was as tall as he was. We saw water go uphill. We saw someone stand sideways on the wall. We had a picnic here.
Bryn: Our third stop of the day was the Black Hills Institute of Geology in Hill City. This is the organization responsible for finding and excavating Sue, the famous T-Rex. She now lives in Chicago (off to the highest bidder), but she was prepared here. Now Stan, a 70% complete T-Rex, lives here.
Randy: This has probably the finest collection of fossils that I've ever seen in one place. They have great examples of fossils from many orders and classes, they are presented clearly, and I would recommend this museum highly for anybody interestd in paleontology. However, for interested people without a strong background in paleontology, the exhibits do not present a very clear narrative structure. There are two or three narrative threads, but it's difficult to connect the pieces that are in different display cases.
Bryn: Back to the campground for a spaghetti dinner. We had hoped for an easy, relaxing evening and had the van all set for bedtime.
Bret: When we were swordfighting after dinner, I slipped and cut my leg badly on a rock or a stick. We had to go to a hospital to get stitches. It was the shortest time ever that it took for me to get stitches. I got 9 stitches in my leg, and I'm going to have a scar. Yeah! Now I will have a badge of infamy forever from this trip!
Bryn: Bret's cut didn't bleed much, but it was deep and about 2” long. We tried 4 butterfly bandages but they didn't hold the wound tightly. We envisioned having to drive 30 miles to Rapid City, but Randy used the GPS and found out a hospital with a 24 hr emergency room was only 3 miles away. Reed was a huge help putting the roof down, quickly packing up, and keeping Bret occupied with fun stories of their day at Mall of America. It was an hour from when we pulled out of the campsite until we returned again, a record for us. This was Bret's 4th time for getting stitches, the former record for quickest time was 3 ½ hours minus travel time. Hats off to Dr G and the staff at Custer Regional Hospital! Dr G's brother lives in Voorheesville NY, so he and Bret chatted about Saratoga, Ft Stanwix, and the Revolutionary War to keep his mind off of what was happening to his leg .