Thursday, November 26, 2009

May, 2007 at Crazy Horse

Custer S.D. is Where We Are At

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Finally we got our computer back from the puter hospital. It was in ICU for a couple of weeks but seems to be doing quite well, again. The heart of the problem was the hard drive which is much like our own hearts. Also like us humans it had a slight stroke and so had a memory loss, a complete memory loss. The memory loss included about 100 pictures and untold pages of writing that I had failed to save on a disc. I usually have 2 or 3 things I’m writing about all going on at the same time, so like my puter, I do not know where I was at in my writing. Bear with me as some of what I say might be a repeat. When I get back online I can do some checking in a couple of unpublished and published blogs and see what I had written down.

We arrived in Custer, SD on April 25th and set up in the Heritage Village Campground which is owned by the people of the Crazy Horse Memorial. The campground has adequate power, water and sewer facilities and beautiful restrooms and showers. Also a nice laundry is available for us. We have a nice view of Crazy Horse from our trailer. It is a huge undertaking and has been on going for more than 40 years. The Lakota Indians contacted Korczak Ziolkowski, a noted artist, about finding a place suitable for their idea.


When finished, it will show Crazy Horse sitting on his horse looking east and pointing out and answering the white man’s question “Where are your lands? He said “My Lands Are Where My People Died”. Crazy Horse was one of the leaders at the "Battle of the Little Bighorn. An interesting biography of him by Marie Sandoz makes good reading and gives a good insight into the thinking of Crazy Horse. Here are some statistics on the sculpture. Crazy Horse’s arm will be 263ft long. The horse’s head, carved in the round is 219ft (22 stories) high. It is 200 ft around from ear to ear. The ears themselves are 51ft long. The eyes are each 20ft across. The nostrils are 25ft across. And the mane is 62ft. Crazy Horse’s face is 87½ ft high and the length is 64ft. The total height is 563ft high & 642ft long. It is a huge undertaking and is being done without the Fed Govt’s help. If you have a computer, look it up under

Sally likes her job and seems to be doing quite will with it. She did find out that she is unable to work in the office and has now, I think, accepted that fact. She has been cleaning the restrooms, laundry and cabins. At this time she spends about 2 to 4 hours a day at that. The walk from the trailer to the office is up hill (terraced) and at 5000 foot of elevation, she runs out of breathe now and then but, she does the trip a few times each day so she has improved considerably.

My job is maintenance and working in the office. Maintenance, I like, the office I’m trying to like it. It is an archaic paper mess with triple checks on everything. With my loss of hearing I have a hell of a time trying to talk to people on the phone while others are talking the office. I work in there anywhere from a few minutes to several hours at a time and one of the first things I do is unplug the pop cooler. It sounds like a Piper Cub airplane with no oil in the motor when it runs. I told the boss that one day and he just laughed.

I have tightened up every nut & bolt on every picnic table in the campground and finally got them all out on the sites. While loading them by myself one day, about 2 weeks ago, as I bent over to slide a heavy one into the back of the pickup I tore some of the muscles loose in my arm. When it snapped I thought I’d broken a bone as it was an excruciating pain the length of my right arm. When it happened I was in a half bent and squatting position and I jerked, jumped, winced, cried out and twisted my left knee at the same time. So I am amongst the handicapped as I limp around here with a bad knee and bad arm. The arm is a solid bruise from 3 inches above the wrist to 4 inches above the elbow. My right bicep is now a thing of the past and of course, when I hobble around the campground other places in body start hurting as I misuse the muscles. I am unable to lie down (I liked that) and so I sleep in the recliner. The only lawn mower we have is a push mower and I’m only doing an hour or two a day of mowing, which is called job security.

I have most of the major things done now other than staining all of the picnic tables. I’ll spray them someday when it is not raining and the wind is not blowing.

We have driven into Custer State Park a couple of times and it is one of the most amazing places we’ve ever been, starting with the scenery you would not believe. A herd of 1500 buffalo, numerous antelope, thousands of Prairie Dogs, Mountain goats, gobs of wild turkeys, Big Horn Sheep, a few Mountain Lions, untold amounts of Mule and Whitetail deer and about 30 wild burros. If you have ever been around a burro, you know they thrive on attention so they are quite the beggars when you can find them. We haven’t been able to find them but others have and come back with lots of funny stories about them.

We found them!

The weather is typical high altitude weather. It can be sunny one minute and then a cloud pops over a mountain and you can get quite wet in a hurry. When the storm fronts come through, they come with a vengeance and a roar you would not believe. Winds of 40 MPH are quite common I guess and it seems to happen with quite regularity. Our trailer rocks a little bit but not bad as we’re set up with a terraced hill on the windward side. The Black Hills are aptly named as the dark granite juts skyward in spectacular array. The Ponderosa Pine is abundant and the dark green of the pine with the black granite is pleasant to look at.

Monday, May 28, 2007

As this Memorial Day unfolds I’m thinking back to what the last year has brought. A year ago we were at Black Harbor Campground, north of Bessemer, Mi. There on the beautiful Lake Superior we were fighting “fish flies”. I you remember they were so thick they ran everybody out of the campground by Monday AM. They look like houseflies but they have TEETH and they do know how to use them. This year we have a beautiful day with NO Bugs, sunshine, friendly campers and beautiful scenery.

Yesterday we into Rapid City City> to get another 2 weeks supply of groceries and Sally had to get her prescription refilled. On the way back we drove through Custer State Park. One of the reasons we went into the park was to try and get some pictures for the ones we’ve lost when the puter crashed. We didn’t do to well on the pictures because there is so many leaves now but it is still a beautiful trip and we did see a half dozen Big Horn Sheep and one lonly Buffalo.

We even got home in time to see the end of the Indy 500 rain shortened race and then watched the NASCAR Race. I even went all out and fixed a couple of hotdogs on the grill. It is the first time the grill has been used since last summer. They tasted a lot like hotdogs done on a grill, can you imagine that.

This morning I got up early and went out and stained about 15 picnic tables before the wind came up. They look a lot better and I’m only able to get about 5 tables stained from one gallon of stain. I need about 5 more gallons of stain. After the tables I had Teepee’s (Tipi’s) to check out and fix up after the weekend campers had used (maybe misused is the correct term) them.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Where does the time go? It seems just like yesterday when we moved to Crazy Horse My torn arm muscles are sort of useless but at least most of the pain is gone. Now if I could just get all of the strength back it would be nice. My knee which I twisted at the same time is still very tender. So I walk around like I’m on egg shells. I have come to the conclusion that old age is for the birds.

The Crazy Horse Organization paid for half of our S.D. State Parks pass so it cost us only $11.50. It was a nice move on their part and really appreciated by us. So we’ve been using it. We did run across the some of the wild burros in the park and they are a gregarious group to, to say the least. The antelope are now dropping their young (calves?) and those little buggers are fun to watch as they run around the countryside. The buffalo calves of course are about 150# bundles of unbridled energy as they learn how to be buffalo. You know something is up when the calves all of a sudden raise their tails as they get ready to take off. The young of the prairie dog are now coming out of their burrows and of course if Aimee is along she would like to chase them all.

Up at Crazy Horse Mountain they are now running a laser light show nightly and it brings quite a few people into the area. Also I am surprised at the number of people who come here yearly to see the progress on the mountain. Some of them have been coming back to the area for as many as 40 years. Some of them must be quite the “donators” as we get messages to “do not charge” those people rent.

The cabin rental is quite busy and I’m pleasantly surprised about who rents them. The cabins are just 2 room shells with at least 2 double beds and some of them have a single also. 2 of the cabins have heat and they are really popular. The Tipi’s are something else. They have them on wooden platforms so that you do not have to lie right on the ground. I would think the white man’s tent is more comfortable.

Yesterday was windy 60 MPH gusts with a steady roar of about 45MPH at about 40 degrees and a light sprinkling of rain all of the time that stung when it hit are skin. At least I didn’t have to mow in it. This morning there is no wind about 34 degrees and will be in the 70’s shortly as the sun is really bright.

Last week was the annual “Volksmarch”. People come from all over the world to march 3 miles up the mountain. The entrance fee is 3 cans of food per person. The food is then put in the Lakota food pantry. This event brings thousands of people so we were quite busy. It did not affect us to much here in the campground but we did have a bunch of fancy horse trailers that the Marshall’s” used to transport their horses. The horses were up at Crazy Horse at the rodeo grounds.

This next week is the annual rodeo up at Crazy Horse and I hope to be able to get up there. I’m told it is the biggest little rodeo of its kind and that the first day in the Plains Indians Rodeo Assn the last 2 days of the 3 day event are PRCA endorsed. I asked about a employee discount but was told NO.

In October they have the “Annual Buffalo Roundup” at CusterState Park It is on a Monday and everybody is invited to watch at the buffalo pens in Custer State Park