Thursday, March 22, 2012

Seeing the sights

by Musician 1st Class Michael Webb

In the eight years I've been with the Sea Chanters I've already been lucky enough to have seen most of the continental United States in the course of duty. Our spring tours have brought us all over America to places that I'm confident I would not have made it to otherwise. Yesterday continued that trend, as we stayed in Custer, S.D. A poll was taken of the entire group to see if we wanted to organize a trip to take advantage of our close proximity to some major landmarks in the area. Most everyone said, "yes" and our motor coach operator, Jerry Novak, again went above and beyond the call of duty to rise to the occasion.

We were staying a mere 40 minutes from Mt. Rushmore and so took advantage of our available morning hours and traversed the windy, tree-lined roads that led to the monumental tourist attraction. We spent a little over an hour at Mt. Rushmore enjoying the magnificent views, exploring the exhibit halls, and checking out the gift shop. I couldn't help but recount all the pop culture references in my mind that featured the four great faces of Mt. Rushmore - sharing a good laugh with several of my colleagues especially with regards to Superman II. I can now happily report the original faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln have not been replaced with those of Superman's arch-rival, General Zod.

After Mt. Rushmore we headed back towards our motel in Custer which conveniently passed by the other massive landmark nearby: Crazy Horse. I'd not heard much about this monument, but found it interesting enough to be excited to also stop by it on the way back. We spent an additional hour or so at the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is just over 50 years into its construction. After watching an orientation video that was quite fascinating we came to learn that it may very well be another 100 years before this testament to one of the greatest elders of the Native Americans is completed. Even in its partially-completed state I found that all of my fellow Sea Chanters who took the opportunity to visit it were not disappointed.

We had a few hours to rest up after our excursion and had a great night in Newcastle, Wyo. The crowd at Newcastle High School was enthused and added another successful night of our tour.

Today we head to Scottsbluff, Neb., to perform at the Midwest Theatre for our second-to-last concert of this 2012 spring tour. We hope to see you there!

About the Author

Musician 1st Class Michael Webb, a native of Reston, Va., joined the Navy Band in 2004 as a bass vocalist in the Sea Chanters. He earned a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from James Madison University.

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