Sunday, 9 May 2010


It was snowing again when I awoke. This time only a couple of inches had fallen during the night. It looked fine although it was -2C and the wind chill were expected to be -7C.
This was nothing for a Brit in sandals and this morning sporting a short-sleeved white T shirt. With this level of stoicism Scott would have made it to the North Pole first and he would have been back within a day, high fiving and being on TV chat shows and everything, rather than dying horribly and miserable in a tent.
I had driven all this way I was going to see Mount Rushmore. Of all the attractions in the U.S this is one of the cheapest. For a mere $10 you get to go and park in a covered car park and then wander around to your hearts content.
It was snowing hard by the time I arrived at the pay kiosk.

“Picked your day for it”
“I’m good at this I managed Niagara Falls in the rain”
“Guess so”
“Go park on level two. Weather will be better tomorrow”
Wasn’t sure what to expect. We have been brainwashed over the years into expecting mighty stuff when things are slightly less than. I had seen Mount Rushmore in “North by Northwest” when Cary Grant climbs a Presidential nose as I recall. He would have found it hard in this weather.

Your be sandaled hero squelched all the way through the welcome area to the viewing platform.
I would imagine in the summer there would be a laser show and everything. This was early on and when later I drove through the nearby towns they all had closed signs in evidence. Season starts late here.

As you can see or not. Not the most successful visit but at least I can say I was there.

That is all the sight seeing I wanted to do for the Pacific North West. So having done Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore it was south I needed to travel.

The weather was vile. Snow falling and covering the road as I headed east. After an hour or so it eased and was replaced by rain. Things were looking up.
Looked at my phone and discovered I had changed Time Zones. Car clock was easy to sort. Hold a button and it was there more or less. They know what features you need these Americans.

Shortly after that the time zone people had second thoughts and I was back in the previous ”Mountain” time zone.
Half an hour later I had passed a sign saying “Welcome to Central Time”
Oh come on, make up your mind!
Needed to make a Skype call to the Dark Lady so needed to find a stop for the night.
Had been on highway 2 for miles. Scenery was impressive although compared to what I witnessed earlier quite dull.
The mountains had given way to grassland. This brought with it large herds of cattle and road kill.
Not seen any before but now the roadside boasted skunk. Coyote, deer and rabbit. To the traveller there is a world of flat stuff out there.

Blew into Broken Bow a small town where I would expect there to be origination issues. How did it get its name and were there any casualties?
No one mentioned it. Although I noticed a marked change of attitude. No one has been unfriendly every where else I have visited. They have just ignored me which is pretty much what happens in the UK.
Howeve,r not in Broken Bow. Everywhere I walked peopled smiled and said hello. Be it in bars, shops, restaurants where you probably expect it but total strangers in the street. One older guy even tipped his hat.
The town probably has an award for it. Or maybe it is a special event.
Everywhere has special events on in order to get their town on the map and also to generate business. Clinton Montana has the biggest Testicle Festival. (No part of the bull is wasted. Er, yum) and Belleville Kansas boasts the “midget nationals”. Before you start protesting to the American ambassador about its treatment of smaller people. I think it refers to a class of vehicle used in racing.

Booked into the Arrow hotel and was rewarded with a suite. Big bedroom and bathroom and also a living room that boasted an annex with a fully fitted kitchen. All that was wasted as I went to the restaurant. Chicken fried chicken for evening meal. Chef’s choice of Veg was broccoli and garlic mash. Then into the bar.
“You visiting”? Said the woman serving who had also doubled as a waitress in the restaurant a few minutes earlier.
“Passing through.“
“You live here?”
“Parents have a farm near here”
“You going to stay?”
“It is like a black hole it sucks you in”
There was a group of blokes in the corner from Plymouth. No idea what they were here for.
I will try and head further south tomorrow. Black holes permitting.

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