“Some of us” («cough» Christine’s sister «cough») wanted to get back to Iowa as soon as possible. I have no special attachment to Iowa, and really wanted to see as much as possible on the way home. We came to a compromise that, as long as I took the late shift driving back and we got back in one day, we could stop and see some things.
But what? What is the coolest, most unique thing to see between Montana and Iowa?
(Please leave any suggestions for future trips in the comments section)
After much discussion, we narrowed it down to either Devils Tower or Mt. Rushmore. We would have to play it by ear and see how fast the sun was setting. I really wanted to see Mt. Rushmore, but if it looked like it would get dark before we got there, I’d have been more than happy to stop at Devils Tower.
When we were nearing the eastern edge of Wyoming, the sun was ominously close to the horizon. It seemed that we may have just enough time to get through Rapid City and see Mt. Rushmore before the sun set. I decided the risk was worth it and we skipped Devils Tower and pressed on.
I was skeptical.
My good friend Kevin has told me that the Crazy Horse memorial is still a long way from being completed, not to mention it was almost dusk. Even though Crazy Horse is only 15 minutes further than Mt. Rushmore, daylight was not on our side.
But she’s my girlfriend, so we decided to go to Crazy Horse.
Ok, so in all fairness, it was my decision. Christine convinced me that it would be cool to see Crazy Horse because if we came back in 10 years, it will probably look different, and it would be fun to be able to compare photos. But that makes for a longer story 😉;)
Dr. Warner and I jumped out to grab a couple pictures, and danced around the parking lot because we were so happy we made it before dark.
That, he told me, was Warner Luck.
We decided to inspect the facilities in the Visitors Center, and while we were inside, a guide informed us that there was still one more showing of the 20 minute documentary of how the memorial came to be.
We were the only people there, and barley out numbered the staff. No doubt they were bored and figured they’d put the movie on one more time just for us.
For me, this 20 minute film really made the detour worth while. I thought that carving a dead guy riding a horse in the side of a mountain had tourist trap written all over it. Not to mention the fact that it’s no where near completion (Kevin was right). But we learned there is much more to it than that and, in fact, they’re going to continue blasting away at the mountain this year. So it isn’t a lost cause (yet).
Dr. Warner and I agreed that getting there, not only with enough time to get some pictures but also to see the movie, must have been Warner Luck.
As we were leaving the Crazy Horse memorial, nobody could remember if Mt. Rushmore had lights on it at night during the winter. We figured that, since we were so close, it would be a shame not to find out.
As we pulled into the parking lot in front of Mt. Rushmore (again, we were the only people there), I was ecstatic to see the face of the mountain lit up. Dr. Warner and I jumped out and ran around taking a bunch of pictures. We couldn’t believe how fortunate we were that, not only did we get to see the Crazy Horse memorial and the cool 20 minute documentary, but now we also got to see Mt. Rushmore after dark!
Warner Luck strikes again!
On the way home, Christine suggested that, maybe the “Warner Luck” isn’t about being “lucky,” but about having a positive attitude…