I leave today for a week-long visit to Pahá Sápa, which is the Lakota name for the Black Hills of South Dakota. I'll be traveling with my friends Kathleen and Joey, with whom I've shared a number of road trips over the years, including to St. Louis in 2008, Trempealeau Mountain in 2009, Wisconsin in 2010, and Kansas City in 2012. A friend of Joey's, Will, will be accompanying us on our journey to Pahá Sápa.
We'll be visiting many areas of both natural beauty and historical significance, including Mount Rushmore, Jewel Cave, Harney Peak, Custer State Park and the nearby Badlands.
Of course, one historical figure associated with this area and in whom I've been long interested is the Oglala warrior and mystic Crazy Horse. Although the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana is probably too far to visit from where we'll be staying near Custer, South Dakota, I hope to make the two-hour journey to Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Here there is a memorial dedicated to Crazy Horse built on the spot where he was mortally wounded on the afternoon of September 5, 1877. He died later that evening.
And, yes, we'll be visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills, although I must admit I'm in two minds about this massive monument-in-progress to the "strange man of the Oglalas," a man who during his lifetime lived a life of simplicity and humility.
I'll be taking a break from blogging during my time in Pahá Sápa, though I definitely look forward to sharing photos and stories of my visit to this beautiful part of North America upon my return to Minneapolis at the end of next week.
UPDATE: Pahá Sápa Adventure: The Journey Begins
See also the previous Wild Reed post:
Crazy Horse: "Strange Man" of the Great Plains
Image: Detail of Ed Lindlof's cover illustration for Bison Books' 1992 edition of Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas (1942) by Mari Sandoz.