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Our 2009 Road Trip, Part 13: Warrior in Progress

Crazy Horse!

Y’know what’s cooler than sharing a world-famous monument with three other guys? Having your own.

Some MCC readers may be following this miniseries and thinking, “When did you get to Mount Rushmore? Are you to Mount Rushmore yet? Where’s Mount Rushmore? How much longer to Mount Rushmore? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”

First of all, knock it off. Second of all, as of this chapter we’re seventeen miles away. We had someone else to see first. He’s taller, he’s wider, and he’s been funded with exactly $0.00 of your tax dollars, making one of the most independent art projects in American history. Show some respect and some patience. We’ll get to the white guys soon enough.

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Our 2008 Road Trip, Part 2: Doing the Charleston

Gold Capitol Dome!

I think I shot the West Virginia State Capitol at a weird Batman ’66 angle because I wanted to get as close to it as possible without cutting off the top or bottom. Turning it into a hypotenuse must have seemed logical at the time.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, marvels, history, and institutions we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. Beginning with 2003’s excursion to Washington DC, we added my son to the roster and tried to accommodate his preferences and childhood accordingly.

Our 2007 drive down to Orlando had one personal milestone for me: my first contact with the Atlantic Ocean. My moment lasted about ten minutes before thunderstorms chased us away from the coast. As Atlantic beach experiences go, Florida gave me a lousy first impression. For 2008 we decided a second try was in order. Rather than take back-to-back trips to the same state, we researched other east-coast beach options, judged them by their nearby attractions, adjusted for our modest budget that couldn’t possibly afford upper-class oceanfront accommodations, and settled on what we hoped would be a suitable sequel.

Thus in this year of our Lord did we declare: the Goldens are going to Virginia Beach!

The first few hours of our drive to West Virginia took us through familiar parts of Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, all of which sped past uneventfully. Parts of eastern Kentucky that were new to us looked the same as the rest, unless you count the water tower with signage welcoming us to “FLORENCE Y’ALL”, or the gas station in Lexington that sold more liquor than gas and was unequipped for pay-at-the-pump, or the dumb Beavis-‘n’-Butthead giggles to be had as we passed Big Bone Lick State Park. After so many hours in a car, some families get punchy and become too easily entertained.

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2012 Road Trip Photos #11: An Hour Inside the Denver Art Museum, Part 1 of 2

Our itinerary for the first half of Day Four didn’t feel overbooked when we first arranged it. By the time we finished touring the Molly Brown House and standing next to the Colorado State Capitol, we had a little over an hour to walk a few blocks east to the Denver Art Museum, walk a few blocks back to our parking space, and arrive at the Buckhorn Exchange in time for our 1:30 reservation. After allotting for the hot round-trip walk through the artsy part of town, we found ourselves pressed for time on our whirlwind self-guided tour of the Denver Art Museum.

Further complicating matters: my camera batteries died, and my spares were safe and sound in our hotel room back in Aurora. Fortunately my wife is diligent in keeping her camera’s built-in battery recharged nightly. Between Molly Brown and the museum, we found not a single shop of any kind that sold batteries. Even the Art Museum gift shop was of no help — theirs isn’t the kind of place that stocks up on incidentals for inconvenienced tourists. At best, they might’ve carried a commemorative spoon with a painting of a battery on it. Once again, as with the GenCon costume contest, the day is saved thanks to my wife and her superior camera.

A few outdoor sculptures greet you as you approach the Art Museum from the east. Between the museum and the Denver Public Library is Acoma Plaza, in which stands Mark di Suvero’s sculpture “Lao Tzu”, named after the author of the Tao Te Ching. I read the latter in college, but wasn’t prepared to interpret the artist’s meaning here, unless some of these shapes represent Chinese pictographs.

Lao Tzu, Mark di Suvero, Acoma Plaza, Denver, Colorado

Our game plan, once inside: we three each selected one museum section for the group to peruse. I chose the Pacific Northwest section, featuring art from the U.S. and Canadian tribes who dominated that particular coast. Our museums in Indiana and the surrounding states have more than their share of Native American art and artifacts, but I was curious to know if other tribes had their own individual styles unavailable for display in the Midwest. I’ve seen all the maize-based manufactured goods I’ll ever need to see in our museums, but this exhibit was successfully different from those, highlighting the works of the Haida, the Tlingit, the Inupiaq, and the Kwakwaka’wakw (I’m not sure which letters are silent, if any).

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