2019 Indian Chieftain Limited

Yeah! That’s a motorcycle! And I might win one! Right….

A month ago we were visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial out of Rapid City in the Black Hills. We also went to Mount Rushmore. If you go, visit the Crazy Horse Memorial and maybe or maybe not visit Mount Rushmore.

Mount Rushmore charges to park (so does Crazy Horse Memorial) but there is no interpretive center or historical center at Rushmore. In fact, when we were there, you couldn’t even walk down the Avenue of Flags. It was all closed for renovation. To be fair, on the National Park Service website for Mount Rushmore, if you look under the tab for “alerts,” you’ll see: “Due to the opportunity to address deferred maintenance projects, the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, amphitheater, Avenue of Flags and a short section of the Presidential Trail are not available for the rest of 2019 and early 2020.” You may purchase souvenirs for way more than they are worth and a corn dog for twice what you’d pay in Hill City. Your pics will probably not be as good as what you find on the web.

By contrast, the Crazy Horse Memorial (which, incidentally, is funded by entrance fees and private donations and a foundation, I believe) has a well curated museum, a Native American Educational Center and a Native American Cultural Center, a rendition of the first sculptor’s home and studio, Collections, frequently performed cultural events, like dancing, a comfortable and reasonable restaurant, and, online, a well done “Pictorial Timeline.”

One of the ways the Memorial is making money is a raffle of two fascinating items. Oddly enough, one of the items is a replica of the rifle most used in the Plains, post Civil War, to kill the buffalo and conduct the “Indian Wars,” which really were a campaign to exterminate the Indian population. Why this would be something they would want to raffle off is besides me.

The other thing they are raffling off is a motorcycle! A great big motorcycle! An Indian Chieftain Limited.

Now here’s the funny part. I once had an endorsement on my driver’s license to ride a two wheeled vehicle. Yeah! 35 years ago I rode a Yamaha Scooter to work and back again to home. One foggy morning on my way to work I came face to face with a log truck coming the opposite direction in my lane. That morning I rode the scooter into a car showroom and traded it in for a car! (It wasn’t until later that it occurred to me that had I been in a car, I would not have been able to avoid a collision as easily.)

Anyway, the chances of winning this motorcycle are nil to zero. But, it has given us a considerable amount of fun thinking about “What if?”

How would we get it home? Well, I’d ride it, of course. Sometimes I daydream about putting it on a trailer behind our CR-V but then we look at one another and laugh because I cannot back up a car with a trailer to save my life. Whose motorcycle would it be? My wife’s, of course, she bought the raffle ticket after all. But, it’s too big a machine for her to handle. Ha! It really should be mine. Right?

There is a fellow about our age living in our cul-de-sac. For years we have rolled our eyes when he breaks out his big Harley-Davidson. I have not talked to him in probably 10 years. It’s not snobbery really, on either side. We simply do not have much in common. He stopped in front of our house the other day and asked me in a jocular manner what I’d do if I won it. (Not quite sure how he found out.) I told him I’d learn to ride it but I’d probably need help. He said he’d be willing to find a “pair of training wheels” for it.

Gee. Thanks.

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