By the time I arrived in South Dakota, it was dark. By the time I arrived in South Dakota, I was exhausted following a 7.5 hour drive. I barely talked to my host for 45 minutes before hitting the hay.
What a great night's sleep that was :). The next morning, Friday, I sped off to see some of the United States' most recognizable monuments.
Fun facts: The famous faces of some of the USA's most influential figures were supposed to be supported by upper upper bodies as Gotzon Borglum (the sculptor) had intended. When it came down to it, however, he, and the 400 that worked with him, discovered that the rock would not support it. Alas, heads it was. It took 14 years to build.
Fun facts: The Crazy Horse Memorial in a nonprofit humanitarian project by Sculptor Korczak Ziokowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear. It officially began on June 3, 1948 with a mission to honor the culture, tradition, and living heritage of North American Indians. The Korczak family continues to oversee the development of a completed memorial which could take another 40 years.
[Lunch: California bean salad + 2 (unpictured) Dr. Kracker flatbreads]
[Touristy reminisce of the Wild, Wild West]
[South Dakota Wine Tasting: Locally-made, brandy-infused]
Later that afternoon, I returned to Spearfish to join my host, Tessa, and her two friends on a rainy hike through Spearfish Canyon.
We hiked passed Bridal Falls (above) and numerous baths, but the precipitation kept me from my crazy photographic ways.
Still, after trekking for two and a half hours across slippery rocks and loose logs, I felt pretty darn strong and accomplished. And since it obviously cleared up right at the hike's end, I was able to capture the moment.
All that, plus some of the surrounding views. I think I took these two pictures about 10 minutes apart from each other. Amazing, isn't it?
And then came supper time. Yes, "supper time," because people from South Dakota say "supper," and I love it.
Tessa started her meal with a French Onion Soup, I did mine with a House Salad.
For my entrée I ordered the herb-encrusted Walleye with rice pilaf and braised cabbage. I had never heard of the mild river fish and was excited to try it. It certainly did not disappoint.
Shortly thereafter, Tessa and I went out for a night on the town. It began with a low-key chat, local beer, and live bluegrass at an Irish Pub.
[Tessa & I - I <3 CouchSurfing]And it ended on the dance floor of a dive bar while singing along to bad 80's music. I wouldn't have had it any other way :). Whoever said there was nothing to do in South Dakota was wrong... very, very wrong. As for the happenings on the East River side of things, please watch the following: