Day 67 - Journey To The Centre Of The Universe

Trip Start May 19, 2008
1
69
176
Trip End Nov 08, 2008


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Where I stayed
Bear Butte State Park

Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Alternative Title: All Hail The Bear Butte!

We hadn't been on the road very long this morning when we encountered yet more road works. This time they had dug up another inordinately lengthy stretch where nothing seemed to be happening. Obviously they've been having road building lessons from the Brits, the Spanish would have it done by now! We had to pull over and wait for a "Pilot Car" to take us through what turned out to be miles of soft brown sandy mud. While we were waiting Neil asked the lady traffic controller, "Are they widening the (single carriageway) road?", to which she replied, "No, it's a complete re-model and re-construct. They're making it two lanes in each direction." We really should have had some language lessons before we came!

When the pilot car did arrive to take us through the driver shot off at the speed of light paying no attention to where her convoy was. We could have taken ourselves through more carefully.

Once through the road works we didn't have much further to go before we re-entered Wyoming and then left it again about 20 miles later to cross the state line into South Dakota. Another 15 miles or so brought us to the town of Belle Fourche and a very bizarre situation. Proudly displayed in Belle Fourche is the "Geographic Centre of The U.S. Monument". The bizarre thing is that the spot designated as the geographic centre of the U.S. is actually about 30 miles further north. We couldn't figure that one out either.

Our next stop was Wal Mart at Spearfish where we decided it was high time we had some music in the bus and treated ourselves to a stereo and speakers. From here it was another short hop south to the town of Sturgis, famous for its annual motorcycle rally. We found a camp-site on the outskirts of town at Bear Butte State Park. Bear Butte is a small mountain which is a very sacred place to the native Indians and the camp site sits in its shadow. No sooner had we pulled into our spot than the most terrific storm began. We had high winds, thunder, lightning, rain and eventually hail! The size of cherries! In the middle of July! The weather is really screwed up over here. Oh well, it gave Neil chance to fit the stereo while we were confined indoors.

Over the last couple of days we have experienced loud pinging noises as what appear to be armour-plated, invisible bugs have hit the front of the bus. As soon as the storm passed over and Neil got out we finally discovered what they are - grasshoppers! Huge grasshoppers! Another mystery solved.

Miles travelled: 178

Total miles travelled: 5188

Days on road: 47

States visited: 10

National Parks visited: 8
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