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  1. #51
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default Phooey! No aliens!

    When did Motel 6 become so cheap. I don't mean as in low cost, "what a deal!" kind of way, but in the pi8pinch every penny, cut every corner and nickel and dime the customer to death? I didn't t bring along soap or shampoo this trip, using the complimentary "here have some toiletries" along the way. This hasn't been a problem thus far - every motel,every big chain, every no-name mom n pop place has had shampoo for use - except for Motel 6. They do have a helpful vending machine that charges 3 bucks for your razors, combs and shampoos.

    Wonderful.

    And then - every motel has had Internet connectivity, save for that one who had it, but was having router problems and I couldn't connect. Motel 6 has Internet too - but only if you pony up 4 bucks for the privilege. Anyway, so it's war dialing for me again tonight. Tightwads.

    Anyway - enough of that. Todays adventure started out with - after a brief stop back at Wall Drug for some last moment tacky suviners - a stop over at the legendary town of Deadwood, South Dakota. Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, gun fights at high noon in the streets, bank robberies - you know, the real old west!

    Pity it completely sucked.

    You know, perhaps I had my expectations too high, that I was hoping for something more Adventureland and less Tourist Trap.

    At least Wall Drug knew what it was and wore that fact it's sleeve - but this, nothing but boring old casinos with endless rows of slot machines. They don't even have the One-Armed Bandit feature anymore - just a button on the front! No museums, no points of interest (well, one placard showing where Wild Bill was gunned down). It was dreadful!

    After that scathing disappointment, I hit Devils Tower. While nothing could have possibly lived up to years of anticipation from Close Encounters, it was still pretty cool. It was much smaller than I imagined. It only took me an hour to walk around the base of the thing - and that was with me going shutterbug crazy, too. At a brisk pace, I could have done it in 45, easy.

    Sadly - no aliens.

    After that, I started back on Highway 14, heading for the Japanese internment camp near Cody. Just past I-90, however, they had a HUGE sign with "Construction, expect an hour delay". And I didn't really want to spend an hour in traffic, so I wheeled back onto I-90 and stopped at Little Big Horn. Much like Gettysburg, there's nothing there but some hills, an interpretive center and some wide open plains with signs here and there. Still, it was pretty cool to hear the story of how Sitting Bull totally gave The Man the pointy end of an arrow that day.

    Oh, I must point out the Photo of the Day. So many jokes to make, so little time.

    After that, it was just one long drive up to Billings and my rant about the crappy turn that Motel 6 has taken. Ah well, off to do some war driving and find myself an Internet hotspot to send this!
    Last edited by AZBuck; 05-29-2009 at 08:44 PM. Reason: Language

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Fun times!

    And I'm enjoying your reports.

    Where is "The Center of the Universe" along your route? I was hoping for a report on it. I can only find this in Tulsa and, well, what Washingtonian doesn't know about Fremont?

  3. #53
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PNW Judy View Post
    And I'm enjoying your reports.

    Where is "The Center of the Universe" along your route? I was hoping for a report on it. I can only find this in Tulsa and, well, what Washingtonian doesn't know about Fremont?
    Well, there's the center of the united states, located at Belle Fourche, SD that I wanted to hit but wasnt able to shake loose the time to do so. However, I had stumbled onto the center of the universe when I stopped at Wallace, Idaho to see the resting place of the Last Stoplight on I-90. The stoplight is lying in state in a coffin, on display at the Wallace Mining Museum, a pretty cool and colorful setup that I totally didnt have ANY time to explore. As far as the center of the universe goes - a fact that Fremont may dispute, but Wallace's logic is pretty impeccable. In short, since the town couldnt prove that the perfectly harmless lead in the hills was indeed perfectly harmless, the EPA ruled that it must be harmful. The mayor then said since you can't prove that Wallace is NOT the center of the universe, then it must be so!

    (see the details here)


    Anyway, not much else to report from yesterday. It was pretty much a speed run from the middle of Montana back home to Seattle. The only thing of note that I did was use the GPS thingie to zero in on the Continental divide, in which I found out why I missed it on the way out. The stupid thing isn't marked in Montana. There's a historical marker sign that briefly mentions it in and amongst some other historical flotsam and jetsam, but not a proper "Continental divide" sign. Bummer that - next trip, I guess.

    And then it was time for dinner in Spokane and then a powerbomb home to Seattle. And a sound sleep in my own bed.

    So, what have I learned over the trip. I think the most important thing is, having done equal time on US Routes and Interstates this trip - that Interstates are soulless beasts that are boring as hell. If you go anywhere, get off the interstate and travel the back roads. You'll see more, you get a good cross section of the demographics you travel through, and it just looks prettier. And it doesn’t seem to take up THAT much more time.

    And now for the stats of the trip:
    Total miles: 4797
    Final Day's miles 834
    Total Time Elapsed: 9 days 18 hours
    States Visited: 10
    New States visited: 7
    Bugs slaughtered by the Windshield of Death: 248,016 (approximate)
    National parks visited: 4
    Nights of sleep interrupted by trains: 4
    Fistfights narrowly averted: 2
    Speeding tickets narrowly dodged: 2
    Stops for gas: 20 (approximate)
    Pictures taken: 1,400 (approximate)
    Where the heck is: Wall Drug

    Oh, and I just started sorting through all the pictures. It'll be a couple of days, but I'll mention when I get the wheat separated from the chaff and posted.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Excellent!

    I think I'll just say my home is the center of the universe. Who could prove me wrong? I do know that I may not be at the end of civilization but I can see it from here. :)

    I bet your bed did feel good after that long last push!

    Looking forward to your photos...and the stories about your near-missed fist-fights.

  5. #55
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PNW Judy View Post
    I bet your bed did feel good after that long last push!
    Oh did it ever! You know, after several trips (both Road Trips and otherwise) I think my limit of "Okay, done now" is just about 10 days. That last day I was looking at my schedual and thinking about all the cool stuff I had left to see, and thinking "Ah, screw it - I just wanna get home".

    The people around the forum who want to be out on the road for a month? Madman! MADMEN, I tell you!

  6. #56
    Tony J Case, Super Genius Guest

    Default

    Okay folks, as promised here are the Photos of my trip. I dont have EVERYTHING up yet, but I only have one or two more days on the road left to post, so I should be all caught up by tonight.

    There were a couple of really good ones, a couple of crap ones and some filler here and there (and a TON of stuff you didnt see), but overall I think I had some good shots.

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