Posted 6/11/2021 08:21 (#9053048) Subject: Two years later....
East Central SD
Two years ago I posted a picture I had taken at the annual Volksmarch to the top of the Crazy Horse Memorial. It was of the progress on the index finger pointing outward. I thought I'd post a few pictures of the progress from this past weekend. The first picture is from two years ago. Since that time they have started shaping the three bent fingers of the hand but also the side of the arm. There is now a lower level beside the arm that you can walk on. One improved change is the workers, and it's a fairly small crew, are very friendly and are there to answer technical questions. Nothing against workers from the past but these guys are really sharp and good at explaining how things are done. Once they blast away rock and are within 5-6 feet of the final surface they have started using a cutting cable to cut away more rock (obviously it would suck to blow the finger off the mountain :-). They drill both horizontally and vertically, hopefully getting the holes to meet, and then thread this diamond edged cable through the hole and cut out blocks for removal. The grey bands have the diamond cutting pieces and I think he told me the cable runs about 70 feet per second - they use water to keep it cool and also so it doesn't gum up with fine rock dust. I believe he also told me it takes most of a day to cut a block. I also have a picture of a block that's been cut and ready to push over the edge. Being a non-profit they get what he said was a very good deal on the cable, $28 a foot.
The hike is around six miles round trip, although the walk down is really easy and doesn't seem that far. I did that on Saturday morning and then got up early on Sunday to run my first half- marathon. The Deadwood Half Marathon is run on the beautiful Mickelson Trail, an old abandoned railroad bed that runs through the Blacks Hills. I didn't finish first.... but I didn't finish last either! :-). Sunday afternoon was spent in a comfortable shady spot re-hydrating and listening to live music.