Well, maybe not. But this is a pretty great state. At the very least, I’ll be coming back to vacation here again.
Crazy Horse is totally nuts. Commissioned in 1948 by Lakota chief Henry Standing Bear as, more or less, a Native response to Mount Rushmore, it’s about 17 miles away and practically that many times as large as its rival. It’s the world’s largest mountain sculpture; the four presidents could fit inside Crazy Horse’s head and hair. It won’t be finished for another 50 years, if all goes well. The memorial takes no federal funding, a point made extremely vigorously in the introductory video. Even more surprising, it’s basically the project of one family. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski worked on the site for years by himself, and then with many of his 10 children. The site’s own mythology is now just as much about the Ziolkowkis’ perseverance as it is about native nobility. After an hourlong visit, I can tell you WAY more about the eccentric Polish-American sculptor than I can about Crazy Horse himself.
But I won’t. Let’s move on.
Next I went to Wall Drug, to my knowledge the only destination drugstore in the world.
Then I drove through the Badlands, and they were good:
It was a quiet day at the Badlands:
But silence doesn’t mean all is well:
At my next stop, I uncovered evidence that King Corn is real:
We are made of corn. Even Abraham Lincoln.
The Corn Palace is a huge building decorated with corn cobs. This has been going on since 1892, and the exterior decoration is revised annually. This is a design for next year’s Corn Palace (seriously!):
An important clarification on a photo of a previous Corn Palace:
Michael Pollan’s nightmare: