Friday, 5 May 2006

Rushin' Through Rushmore

2 May - Woke up in very strange circumstances - the obvious crick in the neck and knees from sleeping on Rocicante's expansive bacj seat but not helped by the a strange dream that i'd decided to return to Australia early - I was kicking myself that I still wanted to see other things in Asia before I returned home - the fact that soccerball sized hailstones were crashing into the front yard should have made me suspect that I wasn't living in a real reality. After I got going I dropped in to see the Corn Palace in one of the SD towns - a cornucopia museum devoted to all things corn - it turned out to be closed (i was too early) which was probably just as well as NPR's verbal assault on the USA's primary crop has left me with a less than great opinion of the man made cereal. One thing i've learned about South Dakota is that it's very, very big. It took me most of a day to get from one side to the other - despite havinga landscape that’s as dull as anything you might see in the middle of a country (nothing but crops - all of them recently reaped) the Interstate is absolutely packed with billboards advertising the varying stores, amusement parks and sights that are spread thinly across the southern side of the statt. However, there aren't actually that many sights to see - just loads and loads of billboards. Some of them started advertising about 200 miles from the actual place - with mt rushmore and Crazy horse that's understandable - but for a drugstore? Admittedly, the thousands of posters for 'Wall Drugs' must have worked on me because I stopped in for the advertised 5c coffee (it was worth every penny). The sidewind whilst driving was particularly horrendous - really had to work hard to keep the car from beingblown off the road - especially when passing trucks, not too much fun at all. Felt obliged to drop in to see crazy Horse and mt Rushmore, not as inspiring as I hoped they might be. The Crazy horse monument certainly will be spectacular when it's finished but it's been almost 50 years and they've only just carved out the head - methinks the original artist's family who are supposedly carrying on his work should get off their fat american asses and get to it. After seeing the faces that launched a 1000 RVs I continued west into wyoming, hoping to get to yellowstone by dark - I was warned that when the rocky mountains come up it happens very suddenly - for miles and miles and miles there's nothing but flatness and all of sudden these gigantic mountains ar just looming ahead - it's pretty stunning scenery on the drive, but when I arrived in cody, 50m out from the east entrance to yellowstone I found out that the entrance was closed for the winter (it is opening this friday) and I had to make a 4 hour detour to get to the north entrance from montana. It was already pretty lat tby this stage so I tried to make it to the next town in order to make a shorter drive the next day - night time driving is never pleasant, especially when on the highways rather than the interstate, and when I arrived at the next town I found that the one motel was full. Started to make the 1 hr drive to the next town but saw a rest stop so had another pleasant night with Rocicante and charley for company (one night is never pleasant, but two in a row is torture).

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