stat counter

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


It took a week to reach The Wild West. Rolling past corn fields and cattle country we finally landed in a lunar landscape
called Badlands National Park.
It’s hard to describe but these photographs should tell the story.

The prairie beyond these jagged racks is as vast as the Everglades.

Last Sunday we left these eroding rocks for
the carved ones atop Mt. Rushmore. The place takes on an ultra-patriotic fervor for the Fourth of July. Professional presidential look-a-likes gave speeches and chatted with the crowds. F-16 fighters and a B-1 bomber passed overhead reminding us that this is one kick-ass country.

Roaming north through The Black Hills of South Dakota we stopped in Deadwood, a well-preserved 1880's town. Wild Bill Hickok was killed there, shot in the back of the head while playing poker. Holding a hand of aces and 8's hasn't been the same since.
The town had a heckova 4th of July parade. It’s two highlights were The Pink Cowboy and the car-jumping fool
on a motorcycle.

We’re not in a hurry and never sure where we’ll be at the end of the day. Heading west again, we noticed the Devil’s Tower was just 25 north of I-90. Images of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” danced through our heads as we approached the well known mothership landing site.

The big rock amazes.
It’s easy to see why Steven Spielberg was so moved by it, why he had Richard Dreyfus sculpting his mashed potatoes into it, God’s own gothic cathedral.

There it was, looming over our campsite as Francesca cooked a holiday feast. We were in Camping Heaven with the Belle Fouche River on one side and a field of barking prairie dogs on the other. They kept popping up just like they do in the Whack-a-Mole game.

That night we witnessed an amazing fireworks display. A local rancher spends $35,000 every year for the pyrotecnics and the volunteer firemen send them aloft. It was a Fourth to remember.
On July fifth we hiked aroung the base of the Tower. We then left Black Hills country and crossed into Wyoming.
My dear Francesca was nice enough to pose for this postcard at the state welcome center.

We're been heading to Yellowstone for days
but keep zigging this way and that. We started crossing the Rockies and played in snow an hour ago. It's hard to stay away from places with names like, Buffalo (we didn't see any), Ten Sleep (A lovey little town on the high plains.It's their library I'm sitting in now), and the upcoming
Thermopolis (great dinosaur bones and hot springs we're told).At this rate we may never get to see Old Faithful but what the heck, we're having a great time trying.

No comments:

Post a Comment