Our first visit this mornng is to the site of the Battle of Big Horn also known as Custer's last stand, now a National Memorial. We arrived at 9.00 am in time for a talk by a parks Ranger. He related the background, the politico-economic background to the Sioux uprising and then very descriptively outlined the daily progress of the confrontation itself. As we sat on a ridge the Ranger could point out the actual disposition of both sides and explain their tactics. As he was a great story teller this made the battle come alive for us.
The afternoon was spent driving across Wyoming to the South Dakota Black Hills. These are so named because the concentration of pine trees foliage makes the Hills look black. So the local tribes named the Black Hills and took them as their spiritual home.
We arrived at the Crazy Horse memorial site for an hour and a half visit. This project is the fruit of one familes endeavours over about 50 years. Crazy Horse Memorial is located in the heart of the beautiful Black Hills. The Mountain is 6,532 ft and ranks 27th highest mountain in South Dakota. It is made of pegmatite granite and was chosen by Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski & Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear for the Crazy Horse Memorial. The project runs as a not for profit with no nput from the Government or other bodies. This allows the organisation to remain true to the Native American peoples who chose Ziolkowski to tell their story. Also a most informative and enjoyable visit.
Our overnight accomodation is in the Custer State Park still at 2100 metres