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Monday, August 29, 2011


Blogging on the road can be tough. On our summer trip we’d pull into a Starbucks every few days. After coffee and a brief Wifi connection we'd head back into the wilderness.
It left little time to polished words or transfers photographs.
Now I have moments to add more of both.

Consider this young lady who ran past us in the middle of a tantrum. I saw her for five seconds before she ran past.
Did the Devil make her do it? We were hiking around his tower at the time.

Later we took seats for a rock climbing demonstration. I found myself sitting behind a guy who had chosen to wear Jesus’ crown of thorns every day.

Every time something strange popped up I’d grab for the camera. Usually I was too late.

We could not get enough of the Devil’s Tower. It was easy to see why the makers of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” were so enamored with it.

It sits high above the plains, impossible to ignore.
Scientists say its the leftover innards of an ancient volcano.
I prefer the natives’ explanation: The result of a giant bear
scratching his claws on the giant rock as he tried to eat people on top.

Presidential impersonator flock to Mount Rushmore every Fourth of July.
Watching them act the part while answering questions or posing with babies had me thinking, “There’s a job I’d never want, even I bear an uncanny resemblance to Millard Fillmore.”
Their business card were stacked nearby in case tourists might want to hire them for a gathering. Maybe we should get a few of these guys to hang out in Coconut Grove. Think of the possibilities!
Watching them do their thing reminded me to a friend in the junk food biz. He has spent decades pretending to be Ronald McDonald.

There are dozens of people in this country who make good money pretending to be Ronald McDonald or Abraham Lincoln. I suppose someone could even do both,
whatever the next gig required.
This Abe was two inches shorter than the real one but he had same facial mole as the 14th President. I wanted to ask him if he had it transplanted there but, out of respect for our country’s highest office, I did not.

Here is our van posing with
President Washington (look carefully) and
President Lincoln posing with his mole.

Gib did his act at Mt. Rushmore one day then took it to the Devil’s Tower the next. His clothes looked more like the Rough Rider than he did.

We drove across high, grassy plains
then saw them dip down into the Badlands.

Here are more
shots from
Badlands National Park.

It was quiet, relaxed,
and no one was
pretending to be a long-gone President.

It almost got too quiet so just for fun, I removed my shirt and gave a short, lusty speech pretending to be Ronald Reagan.
“Mr. Gorbachov, take down that wall, now!”, I shouted.

The only person within earshot
was Francesca. She did not take down her wall.
She preferred to sleep on it.

We drove west leaving the presidents, the Badlands, the Black Hills with the thousands of old guys riding there on much-too-loud Harleys.
For some reason they are attracted to hills of South Dakota like flies to the buffalo droppings we saw all over our next stop, Yellowstone.
More on that later.

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