Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Another Bucket List Item Checked Off!

For quite a while now, I have wanted to hike to the top of the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The only time you can do that is the first weekend of June, when they have a Volksmarch to the top. The start of the WINs summer circuit was timed so we could do the walk.

A Volksmarch is 10K, or 6.2 miles. Here's the start, where you have to sign your life away. They have check-in points along the way so they don't lose anyone...

In order to make the hike 6.2 miles, they make you walk over hill and dale, up and down, back and forth through the woods. There are as many as 10,000 people doing this hike each day.

After a lot of meandering, we start the trek around to the back of the monument.

We found 2 shaggy mountain goats. Apparently, they stay here all year, and are not bothered by the blasting.

Fortunately, there were lots of porta-potties along the way.

We finally made it to the back side of the monument, and are nearing the top!

Wow!!! Here we are! About a dozen WINs made it to the top, but this is all I could gather at one time for a picture - Carolyn, Peter, me, Phil, and Donna.

The monument was started in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski. He passed away in 1982, but his children are continuing the project. They do not accept any federal funding. It took 50 years, 1998, for the face to be completed.

Eye-to-eye with Crazy Horse!

The current work on the mountain is focusing on the horse's head and Crazy Horse's hand.

This is a photo of the recently drawn hand from the air.

A lot of people were doing the "finger-up-the-nose" photo, but of course, I would never do that...

I'm glad they weren't doing any blasting today...

On the way back down, guess what I found - rusty stuff!!!

The Visitors Center is actually only 3/4 mile from the monument, and you can see that if they let you go straight, the hike would have been a lot shorter, but then they couldn't call it a Volksmarch.

Yay! I made it. I'm soooo proud! New this year, they will be another Volksmarch to the top the last weekend of September. So if you will be in the area, come on up!


  1. Isn't it great when we get those items checked off. Of course, this one is NOT on my list. lol

  2. That is a great hike. We were there the first time in 1985. It looks like it is going to be a never ending project.

  3. What a great hike! Maybe I'll join up with the WIN's later on in the summer. I'm "just" about ready to leave Las Cruces...

  4. This really looks like fun. Something to add to the list.

  5. I guess you can't just take the direct route. That's also on my life list.

  6. I've been waiting to hear about how this walk went. Sounds like you had lots of fun. No way to get a "we were there" op without 9,996 of your best friends included in the photo ;-)

  7. Looks like a great time. Thanks for posting the info, I would like to do this walk.

  8. Very cool hike! (I just did a Volksmarch too :).

  9. Nice hike, glad you got a chance to "pick it". :c)

    Too bad the work is going so slowly, our grandchildren's grandchildren will be lucky to see it completed.

  10. We did this hike two years ago and loved it! We saw a marmot on our way back down, and got to the top early enough that the crowds weren't really thickening up. Wish there were more of these in great places like this. Enjoy South Dakota, I know we sure did!


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