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The Great American Road Trip - 23 - Hail, Buffalo, And Nebraska

Posted by Sumiki , in The Great American Road Trip Jun 07 2012 · 106 views

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After breakfast in Rapid City, our first stop of the day was at Mount Rushmore. The famous heads of the four Presidents is just there in the side of the Black Hills. We discussed the construction of the sculpture with a park ranger who didn't quite know what he was talking about, but we got a few tidbits of information anyway. The sculptor of Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, originally wanted to build even more of the featured Presidents than what the final product turned out to be - Washington, for example, would be completed down to his waist, and Lincoln would have his hand on his lapel on the end. (I could see the lapel and a knuckle from the right angle.) Borglum died before the work could be completed, but there was no way to complete it anyway, considering that the quality of the lower-down rock was poor. I did not realize this beforehand, but Borglum intended for there to be a "Hall of Records" behind Rushmore, containing information, busts, and historic documents related to United States history. This too was left incomplete.

It really is epic to behold, though it's only about 500 feet up from the trail that skirts the base of the rubble that piled up from the dynamite blasts that carved 90 percent of the rock. The rest was smoothed away with jackhammers wielded by workers who dangled on flimsy-looking apparatuses. Work was done over 14 years, but only six years altogether if you count up the months in which they were able to work.

And yes, in real life, Teddy Roosevelt looks like he's hunching over Jefferson's shoulder, staring intently at Lincoln, just as he does in pretty much every single picture of the sculpture.

After getting turned around outside of Mount Rushmore, we headed on into Custer State Park. We got onto a wildlife scenic route and nearly immediately ran into a massive herd of buffalo. The adults were molting, eating, scratching, and occasionally grunting, while their young were staying around their mothers, feeding off of their milk or walking behind them. They crossed the road but they didn't stay there, nor did the car get surrounded. We also saw donkeys that were feeding by sticking their heads into the open windows of cars and licking those that were inside until they got food. A couple of morons got out - this is after signs warning not to do this, mind you - and put their arms around the neck one of the donkeys for the sake of a picture! While the donkeys are no doubt domesticated by now, considering how many people have fed them over the years, they're still wild creatures, and if something makes it jump ... well, those people would just wish that they weren't so idiotic.

After this, we saw pronghorn and deer mixed together, as well as a few more prairie dog colonies, before running into (almost literally) another herd of buffalo, who were taking their time getting across the street. One was on the other side of the hill and ran down across the street, nearly colliding with a car that was coming the other direction.

But a storm was a-coming, and we foolishly thought that we were going to make it out of there before it hit. We'd checked the weather predictions earlier in the day, and we'd seen that there was a high percentage of thunderstorm activity in the area.

What they didn't tell us was that there was ferocious, very-small-marble-sized hail that, when mixed in rain and dense fog, made the roads absolutely impassable and impenetrable. Desperate to protect the front windshield, we pulled off, but we then realized that we were just sitting ducks. Making progress, however slow it was, was universally better, and we did eventually run out of it with no car damage. (As we went through the rest of the Custer, we saw piles of ice on either side of the road, an indication of how thick the hail came down.)

As we exited the park, we went through a series of hairpin turns and blind one-land tunnels and somewhat less blind one-lane bridges which we had to honk in to let others know we were there. Others did not provide us the same luxury of advance warning, so we slammed on the brakes more than one time as people exited. (It was like this entering the park as well.)

Anxious to get out of the rain, we ran into more rain and hail when we got into Hot Springs. We let it subside while under cover before getting back on the road, where we ran into it once again. However, it was mostly rain, and once solidly in Nebraska it subsided. We got to Scottsbluff before checking into this kind-of-lousy-but-not-really-all-that-bad hotel, where the shower head sounds like a chainsaw, steps from other rooms can be felt through the floor in the form of small earthquake, and whose staff apparently never leave Scottsbluff for any reason whatsoever. (You can check out any time, but you can never leave ...)

However, this did not end the day's adventure. We walked over to an adjacent restaurant to eat. They give you the most menus per person of any joint in the free world. It took me a minute just to sluice out the main one and read over it. After we ordered, we started getting punchy. My mom stacked the small vials of cream they supply for coffee alterations into a pyramid, while my dad and I kept laughing heartily at the placing of wadded-up straw containers at the very edge of the table. (Upon second thoughts, I am unsure why this struck us as so inordinately funny.) My dad invented the Pie Dance after we sampled their delicious peanut butter silk pie, and my mom got the obligatory picture of the pie (her first attempt saw my dad stick a fork in the frame at the last second), as well as us doing the Pie Dance in tandem. (We also did the "Safety Dance" - as made semi-famous by the music video of the song of the same name by the 80s group Men Without Hats - in tandem. We all literally cried from laughter after this, and our waitress thought we were crazy at best.)

Tomorrow: The actual Scotts Bluff, for which the town is named, then on through Nebraska as far as we think we can go.


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I was up in that neck of the woods once when I was little. And yeah, those buffalo signs were everywhere.

"DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR BECAUSE BUFFALO"

"DO NOT GLARE AT THE BUFFALO"

"DO NOT HAVE TEA PARTIES WITH BUFFALO"

- 55555
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He's the lord of all strangeness. - Ignika: Nerd of Life

How awesome is Sumiki on a scale of 1 to 10? - Waffles
42. - Black Six

[He's] the king of wierd, the prince of practicality, the duke of durr! - Daiker

Sumiki is magic. - Cholie

Sumiki says, "Do I creeeeeeep you out?" Yes, he does. - Waffles

Sumiki is a nub. He's cool, but he's still a nub. - Ran Yakumo


"What is a Sumiki?" You may ask. But the answer to that is still unknown, even to the Sumiki itself. - Daiker


LISTEN TO SUMIKI - Cholie


Sumiki is best snickerdoodle. - Takuma Nuva


BZPower = Sumiki + McSmeag + B6. And Hahli Husky. - Vorex


What's a Sumi? Does it taste good? - Janus


I would have thought Sumiki wanted to reincarnate as a farm animal. - Kraggh


EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH - Kakaru


Sumiki: the horse_ebooks of bzp - VampireBohrok


Everything relates to Sumiki. No really, everything. - Daiker


He's in worse mental condition than I thought. - Obsessionist


I'm just wondering why I'm looking at some cat dancing ... I suppose the answer would simply be "Sumiki." - Brickeens


I was like a beast, screaming through the mind of Sumiki at the speed of sound. I.. I wasn't strong enough to stop myself. What I saw was the end of infinity, through which one can see the beginning of time, and I will never be the same. - Portalfig


I imagine the 13th Doctor will be rather like Sumiki, at the rate we're going. - rahkshi guurahk


I was quite sure Sumiki had another set of arms stashed somewhere. - Bfahome


Note to future self: don’t try to predict Sumiki, he’s unpredictable. - Voltex


Let's be honest, I would totally have picked my main man Sumiki to lead my goose-stepping night killers anyway. We tight like that, yo. - Xaeraz


10/10, would Sumiki again. - Bfahome

     

Sumiki
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Every week, I post a new "Tuesday Tablescrap", a small MOC not worthy of a topic, but something to post and inspire me to build more.

10/25/11 - Duplo Flower
11/1/11 - Slender Man and Masky
11/8/11 - Bizarre Black Spaceship
11/15/11 - 2001 Monolith

11/22/11 - My Little Slizer 50
11/29/11 - Punching Bag
12/6/11 - Thunder and Escorts
12/13/11 - Three Concepts
12/20/11 - Kaxium Alternate
12/27/11 - None (Christmas Break)

1/3/12 - Daiker
1/10/12 - None
1/17/12 - Volant
1/24/12 - Nidman's Chute Shoop Shop
1/31/12 - None (Brickshelf down)
2/7/12 - None
2/14/12 - Atomic Lime
2/21/12 - Spearhead
2/28/12 - Glatorian Kahi
3/6/12 - Seeker
3/13/12 - Skyscraper
3/20/12 - Microphone
3/27/12 - Toa Vultraz
4/3/12 - Flammenwerferjüngeres
4/10/12 - Umbrella
4/17/12 - Lime Beetle
4/24/12 - Special - Flame Sculpture
5/1/12 - None (BZPower down)
5/8/12 - Purple Ninja
5/15/12 - The Original Sumiki
5/22/12 - 7/24/12 - None
7/31/12 - Tahu
8/7/12 - None (BrickFair)
8/14/12 - Special - Chess Set
8/21/12 - Heavily Armored Wasp
8/28/12 - Spaceship Drill
9/4/12 - Scuba Vehicle
9/11/12 - Orange Guy
9/18/12 - Strange Flying Thing
9/25/12 - Goblet
10/2/12 - None
10/9/12 - Aim .............................. Down
10/16/12 - Gold Bot
10/23/12 - Teal Mech
10/30/12 - Special - Teal Mech (#2)
11/6/12 - Bits and Pieces
11/13/12 - Two Spaceships
11/20/12 - TARDIS Interior
11/27/12 - Christmas Creep
12/4/12 - Toaraga
12/11/12 - Fireplace
12/18/12 - Abstract Duckling
12/25/12 - None (Christmas)
1/1/13 - Black Bot
1/8/13 - 1/22/13 - None
1/29/13 - Handheld Rhotuka Launcher
2/5/13 - 8/6/13 - None
8/13/13 - The Hinklebot
8/20/12 - Special - Post-Apocalyptic Piyufi

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Formerly known as the Bring Back Teal Club, the Unused Colors Society is a club that serves to promote colors that are little-used or discontinued, such as teal, old purple, or metallic blue.

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Sumiki
Waffles

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If you learn one thing in life, learn this:

You should never, ever question why demons would possess a soda.

just a heads up - Cthulhu would probably eradicate mankind before bringing back Bionicle
 
so yeah, all I'm saying is, please think twice about this okay

nothing gets democracy flowing like erratic capitalizatION

[the NSA] couldn't say no when I offered them an ostrich farm in exchange

Sumiki -- nice try but we all know Toa Mata Nui stuffs its bra

 


 


 


You have a great understanding of history, but don't forget, war, murder and other poor decisions are also huge characteristics.

Also a long line of really great hats.

Shhh, I'm trying to focus on the negative to justify my dislike of history.

have we mentioned hats

To be fair, I am the one responsible for the invention of Mafia in the 1320s by seventeen bored italians locked in a mine shaft.
 
It's a long story.

 

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