Thursday, August 26, 2010

South Dakota - Crazy Horse Memorial and Unending AutoPark Brake Issue

Well today has been a mixed bag: we went to see the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is good, but the Trek is still not fixed, which is bad.  Let me explain...

We got up early this morning and got ready for the day - we unhooked the Trek, battened down the hatches, and went by the dump station to empty the tanks.  Then I drove the Trek to the Chevrolet Truck Service Center in Rapid City with Lynda following in the rental car.  I spoke with the service manager, who was concerned that the part they ordered was (a) the right part, and (b) the only part they would need to fix the issue.  I told him that the service manager in Grand Rapids had assured me this is exactly what needed to be done and so we should be fine.

Then off we went, including the dogs, in the rental car to visit the Crazy Horse Memorial.  I had done some research online that indicated the Crazy Horse Memorial was pet-friendly. Unfortunately, it wasn't as pet friendly as I had thought or hoped and it was too hot to leave the dogs in the car. Nor could we take them inside the Welcome Center or the Museum. So Lynda and I took turns staying with Sydney and Barley under a shade tree in the parking lot while the other person went inside for about 45 minutes. It was the best we could do under the circumstances, but I wish we could have toured the place together and taken a great deal more time to look at the exhibits.

Despite those obstacles, I loved being there! The Crazy Horse Memorial is an absolute must see, and the Indian Museum is probably the best of its kind in the US, perhaps even North America.

The Memorial itself is amazing, even in its unfinished state. And the sculptor behind the Memorial was a remarkable person. 

When Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started Crazy Horse Memorial in 1948 they had hardly anything in the way of money or even projected funding. Since then, for the past 60 years, Ziolkowski  and others banded together and would not give up - they simply made it happen. In a lot of ways, I think the Crazy Horse Memorial has allowed people to be at their best, which is certainly a welcomed contrast to darker days of mistreatment and duplicity.

Although he passed away in 1982, Ziolkowski's family continues to play a major role in the sculpting and oversight of the Crazy Horse Memorial.

The Memorial is a private, non-profit undertaking financed by admission fees and contributions, and does not accept any government funding. Based on what I've read, it seems that because of excellent management and the generous contributions of thousands of donars at all levels, the Memorial is in pretty good fiscal shape, although this is apparently never taken for granted and fund-raising is ongoing.

While we were still visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial, I got a phone call from the Chevrolet Truck service manager.  Although the part I had them install was needed to repair the Trek, a second part was also needed and it would have to be ordered. The only way to get it in time to finish the work the next day, Friday, was to have it shipped over night. I have to say I was pretty aggravated... not at the hapless guy on the phone but at the sorry SOB in Grand Rapids who gave me incomplete information.

So what choice did I have?  I asked the service manager to go ahead and have the part expedited, and to ask his mechanic put the Trek back together because we had to come get it for the evening.

And so we drove back into Rapid City, picked up the Trek, and returned to the campground. We are relaxing tonight and tomorrow, once again, we'll pack up the Trek and take it to the service center. I just hope that the part comes in as ordered and they get the job finished!

We'll see.


Anonymous said...

I'm doing a report on the Crazy Horse Monument and this was so interesting 2 read! Thanks!

Consuelo said...

Glad the blog posting was helpful! The Crazy Horse Memorial is a very special place.

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