"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Friday, June 28, 2013

we had a "blast"!

Wednesday was the first of two scheduled night blasts here at Crazy Horse. This one was to celebrate Mrs. Ziolkowski's 87th birthday. Our shifts started at 1 pm with Rudee in the gift shop and me at the entrance booths. Things were a little busier then normal but not too bad, that is until after our lunch breaks at 5 pm. That is when the crowds started coming. At 7pm we quit charging admission and switched to collecting donations for the local food pantry. 3 cans of food per person got you through the gate and if you didn't know about the food drive you could make a cash donation of your choosing and enter that way. This is when the rush started. We had double the amount of workers at the gate and still the cars backed up for almost the entire 1/2 mile entrance road. We were collecting food and cash as fast as we could and the parking lots filled up fast. They had a plan though and switched to parking cars in the nearby rodeo arena and pasture. They would then shuttle the people to the visitor center. 
The family that runs this place are very giving people, they bend over backwards to help the local community. I was told that 1/3 of all the food given away by the food pantry comes from Crazy Horse either by the many food drives or by cash donations. Unfortunately I did get to see some of the "dark side" of people. One well dressed couple in a very new Jeep with tow bar attachments griped that they had to give anything at all. He did, eventually, pull out two $1 bills and handed it to me complaining that he was told admission was free at the RV park he was staying at. I just can't seem to get the image out of my head of this guy tooling around in a big Class A towing his new Jeep and staying in $50 per night RV Resorts and he is bitching because we ask for a small donation to help feed hungry kids! I hope I am wrong about him, maybe they are on a limited income and doing the best they can but I sure didn't get that impression. Another van full of people came in and said they didn't know about the food drive and thought it was just normal admission, I told them we would be happy to take a cash donation of anything they could offer. The lady then handed out 1 container of Teddy Grahams as their donation. The regular admission is $27.00 per car load so I'm sure they were really happy with the "deal" they got, of course 1 container of graham cracker bears sure wont help too many hungry kids!
On the flip side, I had several large cash donations of over $40 and one little girl who, after her Dad gave us two $20 bills, said she wanted to give too. Dad rolled down her window and she handed me a dollar bill she took from the little purse she was carrying. That put a smile on my face and reminded me there is still hope for our future generations.
The blast happened right after the laser light show ended. I was still at the entrance gate but had a great view. Rudee was on the patio by the gift shop and took these pictures (best she could do with the crowds and lighting).

The blast was pretty impressive and, even though we were busy, we had a great time. We even got a piece of birthday cake afterwards. Needless to say it was a great night.

We also had another "small world" moment when a car pulled up to my entrance shack. They asked if I was the Phil who wrote a blog? Yep, that's me! Turns out it was long time blog followers Russ and Debbie Davis who are just starting their full time adventures. Nice meeting you guys, wish we had more time to spend getting to know ya but I had to get back to work. Hit us up if you are still around (and reading this) and we can get together on our days off, either Monday or Tuesday.

I took the camera to work with me and wanted to show you the view from my "office".

Not too bad, don't ya think?
Here is my "office" and my view towards the Monument.

I'm not sure who the guy is in the bottom of the photo but he keeps following me around and mocking
me! If he keeps it up I'm going to have Rudee kick his butt because he always runs from me. :-)               

Today is "Hump day" for us and we are already looking forward to doing some more exploring on our days off. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Where are you staying. Is there places on the grounds for workcampers

    1. The workcampers (us included) stay at Heritage Campground which is just about 1 mile from the Monument. The campground is owned by the Crazy Horse Foundation and there is a small charge for our site (just about pays for the electric we use). The campground is nice, FHU pull throughs and has a laundry room.

  2. I would have loved seeing the night blast! I bet it was spectacular.

    Too bad there are always a few that have to be ungrateful. Thank goodness there are only a few. Most of the time people are amazing.

    Enjoy your days off!

  3. That looks like a pretty cool office!! :) Good thing there are good and generous people to balance out the other kind.