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Another Giant Head

October 26, 2011
Crazy Horse Memorial

Begun in 1948 the Crazy Horse Memorial is still far from finished with no completion date scheduled.

The Black Hills region of South Dakota is unofficially the world’s capital of giant heads; four on Mount Rushmore and one memorial to Crazy Horse.

After a long drive to an aborted hike took us within 10 miles of the memorial, we decided to swing by and check it out. At the foot of the mountain we found a small information booth and figured we could get directions to a new hiking trail – the day was not completely lost. Or so we thought. When I approached the booth I must have missed the quote marks surrounding the word “information” because none was to be had there.

Resigned to the fact that hiking was not in our immediate future, I asked about the price of admission to the memorial. “$10 each.”

“But it’s not even close to being finished,” I protested. “Twenty bucks seems kind of steep, don’t you think?” A disinterested shrug answered my question. I persisted by pointing up the mountain. “I can see it from here for free.” Another shrug.

Closing my wallet, I promised to return once the memorial is finished. Expected completion date: undetermined.


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Wanderings is Dying

October 24, 2011

It’s sad, but true. Wanderings is going away.

For technical reasons that are boring even to us, the Wanderings web site no longer meets our needs. The good news is that Wanderings is being reborn as a shiny new travel blog called EverywhereOnce. We’re going to post all of the existing Wanderings content, plus everything new we have planned, over at the new site. The Wanderings site, meanwhile, is going to be phased out over the next week.

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Photo of the Day: New Orleans Cemetery

October 24, 2011

New Orleans Cemetery

Walking Distance

October 23, 2011

“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” – Steven Wright

That is mostly true, but I’m pretty sure I can’t walk to Japan. Not because of the distance involved but because it is an island. As much as I like to think I’m perfect, my water walking skills are strangely underdeveloped.

But the larger point is accurate. Plenty of people walk the entire 2,181-mile length of the Appalachian Trail. Others have walked coast to coast. Further treks are possible for anyone with the determination to undertake them. So it’s true that “walking distance” isn’t really an objective distance at all but rather a personal preference.

Read more…

Giant Heads

October 21, 2011

Mount Rushmore South Dakota

There are few places as uniquely American as South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore. No U.S. road trip would be complete without a stop at the giant granite visages of these four historic presidents. Yet it is also one of those places that everyone has already seen in pictures, and pictures do it justice.

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Photo of the Day: Devils Tower

October 19, 2011
Devils Tower Wyoming

Devils Tower Wyoming

Missed Opportunity: Climbing Devils Tower

October 17, 2011

Devils Tower Climb

We should have pursued it, but laziness won out. Climbing Devils Tower in Wyoming, if only to a height of a couple dozen feet with a class for climbing noobs, would have been a worthwhile and memorable experience.

The truth is Read more…


October 14, 2011

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Wild Horses

There’s something magical about nature in the wild.

Horses, majestic as they are, are not particularly exotic animals. We routinely see them on farms and in stables. But catching sight of a pair of mustangs, unbridled and unbroken – standing free on a wind-swept mountain – is an entirely different experience.

Can you hear me now?

October 12, 2011

Verizon Cell Phone Coverage

Yes, even atop Buck Hill in the heart of the North Dakota badlands, with no sign of civilization for miles in any direction, Shannon can in fact hear you. Our Verizon cell phones registered two bars at this remote location, demonstrating the increasing futility of trying to “get away from it all.”

Close Encounters of the Bison Kind

October 10, 2011

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Bison 2

A bestial growl, almost feline in nature, first caught our attention. Somewhere off in the distance, a cacophony of grunts and bellows followed. We listened for a short time before deciding a couple of things: the noise originated from within our campground; a large group of animals were responsible; we had no idea what kind; if we wanted to find out, we’d have to go investigate. Grabbing my camera we headed for the door.

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