What a site is was to behold, even if it was our tenth time! The annual Crazy Horse Volksmarch, a 6.3-mile hike up onto the arm of the in-progress monument and back to the visitor center, was this past weekend and we were blessed with some great weather and a very content 11-month old baby.
Our preparation hikes had given us an idea of what to bring along for Aurora and both of us as well. But we had a plan in case she got fussy. There is a spot where the path heads up to the monument or back to the visitor center that was our point of no return, about 3 miles down the trail.
One of us would head back with her if needed at that spot. But it wasn't needed as Aurora was so fixated on the scenery and people hiking around us and was an absolute trooper. She didn't fuss at all, save for one time at the top of the monument (for the "grand" picture of course), and her coos and squeals were fairly entertaining for us and those walking by us and thankfully, on the way back down to the end of the hike, she fell asleep.
The hike itself was great as it had its usual splendid views of the monument from different angles and the forest itself was lush and green and the trail was good, if not muddy in areas thanks to a storm from the day before.
While the temperature was near-perfect for a morning hike, Melissa and I put on our CoolCore long-sleeve shirts from Blackfish Gear, which last summer was one of the best purchases I made in finding a good moisture wicking shirt with sun protection qualities that would allow me to fish all day and not get too hot or sunburned.
The material is awesome with both features, especially if there's a little breeze. The shirts kept us both comfortable and protected us from getting burned and the breeze out on the arm was a real treat in them.
We hiked with my mom and my brother's girlfriend, Sarah, which was her first Volksmarch. It's always exciting to watch a first timer get up to the monument and see the views and admire the carving up-close. She's already saying she'll be coming back for more, probably in Sept. for the fall hike up the monument. It is an experience for sure to hike up onto the arm and see just how massive the carving is, which is currently the biggest in the world.
I would encourage anyone to come and try the hike at some point if they are able to. It is a hike that will leave you with some great memories and wonder and awe on how we, with little more than our imaginations and dreams, are able to start and carve such massive creations out of nature.