Monday, June 9, 2014

The Crazy Horse Volksmarch

In 1948, a seemingly impossible undertaking began.

Somewhat in response to Mount Rushmore, a second sculpture was commissioned, this one in honor of the Lakota people that considered the Black Hills sacred. Crazy Horse Memorial was to be enormous and more importantly, more than a mountain carving -- the master plan included museums and a university, among other things.

Sixty-six years later, the sculpture is still in progress, but a museum, cultural center, and a satellite campus of the University of South Dakota have found their homes there. There is plenty of controversy surrounding the very existence of such a place and the arguments over the years have been fierce -- yet it's found its place in the Black Hills experience.

A big part of said experience is the Crazy Horse Volksmarch.

This particular volksmarch (a noncompetitive, usually 10K walk) takes you through the woods from the museum parking lot around to the back of the mountain itself ... and then up right onto the arm of the sculpture.

As it happens, this was going on this past weekend. Mia Sorella, Shorty and I managed to make it there all together. This was the first march for both of them (my third) and despite a day of constant rain, it was a fantastic walk.

Admittedly, there had been some doubt as to how enjoyable it could be -- that rain wasn't overly fun -- but about a quarter of the way in, all worries fell away and we all managed to enjoy the fact that we could wander through the woods.

The weather did keep the crowd fairly thin (this is an event where some years you have no freedom of movement at the top). All in all ... that was nice.

There are some excellent vantage points along the way...

The rain did some interesting things to Crazy Horse as well.



The next march is the last weekend of September (coinciding with the buffalo roundup). I definitely recommend checking it out!

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