Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind

For those of you who need instant gratification, the pix are here: http://offramp.exit83.com/photos/cross_country_trip_2005/category1019.aspx

Today, I planned on taking it easy. I wanted a nice leisurely drive thru the center of our great country, and that is exactly what I got. I didn’t have to deal with tons of people, so it was quite relaxing. Shame on me, I even took the interstate today. Sorry, I had to do travel on I-90 because it was the best route to Devil’s Tower and eventually Mt. Rushmore. On the drive to I-90, I stopped by an odd field of airplanes which was totally random in the farm country of Wyoming. Furthermore, I also witnessed some incredible scenery just along the road and other views within the Big Horn Mountains.  The rock formations are extremely old, and they have signs that tell you so.

Once I passed the Big Horn Mountains, I ventured onto I-90 and had clear sailing til Devil’s Tower. My cruise control was set at 92 mph but it still seemed like I was going slow. This open spaces of Wyoming really make you feel small. Eventually, I reached Devil’s Tower and was able to get some great close ups. Turns out the people who work at the Devil’s Tower visitor center are all climbers, and they are eager to share their climbing stories with whomever will listen. Apparently there’s a ton of different climbing routes to the summit of the tower all ranging from 5.7 to 5.13. … If I liked crack climbing, I’d consider trying it. <Insert your own “crack” joke here.>

After Devil’s Tower, I headed east into South Dakota. Since I was on a quest to soak up true Americana, I drove directly to Sturgis. Funny thing is, once I got there I found out they have no hotels. I couldn’t believe it. I circled thru Sturgis twice then eventually headed south to Deadwood, SD which is where I’m at now. This is a restored western town, complete with gun fights and casinos.

All in all, it was a mellow day. Tomorrow, I’m heading south to Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands and Wall Drug (where the hell is that place?) hopefully ending up somewhere in Nebraska.

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