Rainbows make me stop and smile. Since the year 1000 scholars understood these brilliant colors arrive due to sunlight bent or refracted by water drops. Many people persist in believing rainbows bring wealth or a bridge to heaven, however. By 1704, Sir Isaac Newton proved white light is made up of all the colors in the rainbow. The earliest people in Colorado, the Ute Indians, worshipped Mother Earth and Father Sky. Naturally they believed rainbows were a powerful sign from above.
The Crazy Horse Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota is the world’s largest sculptural undertaking. It has been under construction since 1948. The mountain carving honors the Lakota leader, Crazy Horse. Located a short drive from Mt. Rushmore, Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear commissioned Korczak Ziolkowski to create a sculpture which reminds white men that the red man also has great heroes.
If you are fortunate enough to see this work in progress, you will also be treated to the Indian Museum of North America and, during the summer, a laser light show highlighting cultural diversity as well as harmony among all races.
You may not see the finished monument for another fifty years, but the scale model is inspiring. The sculptor’s vision has endured for thirty two years after his death in 1982. His children and wife continue working and collecting donations. They are strong believers in the free enterprise system and have refused all offers of government funding.
Our first sight of Crazy Horse was from the Mickelson Bike Trail. What a treat it was to reach the monument by our own power.