They had wax representations of every US President, not to mention many other historical figures. They claimed that the detail was as accurate as possible, many of the figures having been created off of life casts of the presidents. They were very lifelike. However, the Ronald Reagan one just didn't look quite right to me. Of course, I'm not going to know if James K. Polk looked right or not, but I could tell Reagan looked strange. We finished off the day at Putz N Glo. It's mini golf in blacklight...way cool! Good choices for a cold rainy day in the black hills.
My wife and I actually got to visit this area briefly about 12 years ago for a puppet festival. We didn't do much tourist stuff because we were working. The one place we visited, other than Mt. Rushmore, was Reptile Gardens. Here we saw snakes, lizards, and, of course, alligators and crocs. Not exactly natives of the Dakotas but fun to visit anyway. The kids loved this place. My son was especially excited to see an Anaconda, since he had just done a project for school on Anacondas. Reptile Gardens in part indoors, part outdoors. It was still a bit chilly that day, but we still had fun.
The evening we visited the Circle B Ranch for the chuck wagon super and show. We've been to the Flying W in Colorado Springs many times, but this was our first visit to another chuck wagon. This one seems to be run by one family who are also the band. With it being a cold first week of the tourist season, it wasn't very crowded but still fun.
We headed over to Rushmore Cave the next day. My wife loves caves, I think they're cool too, but I'm always a bit nervous. I never can seem to shake the thought of getting trapped in there, but I enjoy seeing the creativity of God, even underground.
The formations were pretty incredible, and for the first time in my life I saw cave bacon (mmmm bacon).
That afternoon we headed over to the Crazy Horse Memorial. This huge rock carving of Crazy Horse on his horse is far from done and they've been working on it for 60 years! It's an amazing example of the power of one man's dream. The sculptor who started the project has been dead for over 20 years, yet his family continues the work. It's probably fair to say that many of them will not see the completion of the mountain either. Yet the dream continues.
The face of Crazy Horse is pretty much sculpted and work is focus on the head of the horse right now. The museum at the visitors center contains all sorts of native American items, which thrilled my daughter since she just did a project on native Americans at school. I do wish that there was a bit more about who Crazy Horse was at the museum, but it was still very intriguing. It was also very cool that the kids got to take home their own rocks that had been blasted off of the Crazy Horse memorial.
We also got to see some native American dancing at the visitors center. Honest to God, it started raining right after this picture was taken. I don't think it was supposed to be a rain dance.
It was a great trip, I'm so glad we went. The kids had fun. My wife and I had fun. We look forward to going back to the black hills again someday.