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Odometer Start
08:20 AM (MST): 1194 Miles

Starting City
Gilette, Wyoming

Odometer End
22:3400 AM: 1192 Miles

Crash Site
Gilette, Wyoming: Motel 6

Daily Donner Report
No one ate each other yesterday. (Morgan wondered whether beef jerky tastes like human skin.) Instead, Burger King for breakfast; Lunch at Wall Drug: salad/chicken sandwich; Buffalo burger with fries; Dairy Queen stop in Wall as well; diner after stopping Gilette: McDonalds, because Wendy's was closed. DAMN THEM!

Crappy Video of the Day!
Day Two Crap

  • Justification
  • Personnel
  • Route
  • Equipment
  • Bibliography

  • Sunday, September 17, 2000


    ...posted at 1:33:33 PM...
    Before I forget: it is maybe pretty dumb to relate Stephen King plots while driving on twisty moutnain roads in pitch darkness. Tell the kids.

    ...posted at 1:27:58 PM...
    Random notes from Sunday, pulling the trains of thought:

    We hit 1000 miles yesterday on Rte. 44 coming out of the Badlands. 14:20 PM. Of course, Morgan noticed it 10 miles past 1000. Because he is an idiot.

    Mile 1029: Hit Rapid City. The damn cybercafe isn't open on Sundays. Repeating: a coffee shop not open on Sundays. Geeze.

    The local Firehouse Brewery IS open, though, next to the Bible and Book Store. So we pick up the required beer for South Dakota. HALF GALLON, fresh from the tap. Sealed by the bartender.

    Interestingly, the Firehouse Brewpub has fireman patches form across the U.S.. It's miles later when I realize many of them must have come out here to volunteer in the firefighting effort. I hope that's the reason, and that the Brewpub just didn't send letters requesting patches.

    Driving up to Mt. Rushmore:

    "You can see the USA in a Chevrolet, but you'll never be bored in a Ford."

    "Is that like a Little Red Corvette thing?"

    "Why do you have to make everything dirty? I didn't say backSEAT of a Ford."

    After seeing the Crazy Horse monument, we both agree we can't stay in a town called Custer.

    Though driving through, we do notice that the Custer Motel is on one side 16, and the Chief Motel is on the other. Sore losers, they don't even name the Chief.

    Max: "Who knew South Dakota had so much to see?"

    Max: "How does Burger King get the croissants so ROUND like that?"

    Also: "Wyoming is weird. We saw a lot of deer waiting to cross in the end of S.D. last night. None were feeling adventurous enough to challenge the combined power of Morgan and Max."

    And finally, this afternoon, Wyoming had Red Highways, which is noticeable.

    We have much crappy video from yesterday, which we will post tonight. Many stills as well.

    More later.

    ...posted at 1:14:35 PM...
    Hi. It's Max. I'm just typing for the damned fun of letting my fingers run over the keyboard. It's been a couple days now since I touched one. Might be going through withdrawal.

    Mo might have told you this, but the big thought going through my head on this drive is 'gee, my ancestors where unambitious. They touched down in Massachusetts, and in three or four generations, they've gotten as far as Rhode Island'.

    ...posted at 1:06:11 PM...
    So we started off and Morgan drove to Sheridan, Wyoming to start the morning. Burger King breakfast, with Mimosa dreams.

    Anyway, Max drove to Billings, Montana, where Morgan now sits and types in the "Your Place or Min Cybercafe", run by a couple of nice guys right across from the Milling Senior High School.

    Max: "They have blue hair in Billings."

    Yes, that's right, even kids in the Great Plains (or whatever Billings officially is) have cultivated the fashion of punk.

    Morgan will now have some of the nice espresso, and let Max type a bit.

    ...posted at 1:02:58 PM...
    As you can see, already we're missing deadlines, and cruising right past updates.

    After the update below was written, we hit:

    Wall Drug.

    The Badlands.

    Mount Rushmore

    Crazy Horse Monument

    Jewel Cave.

    We drove like maddened bats, thorugh mountains and night and even some smoke from fired here and there, until we arrived at another Motel 6 in Gilette, Wyoming. Unfortunately, AT&T didn't have a usable dial-up from Gilette.

    ...posted at 12:56:19 PM...
    Here's what Sunday was like:

    We get started like the US Army. Before 8 AM, we get in two major tourist attractions in Sioux Falls. The concrete outline of the battleship USS South Dakota, complete with fake command tower and cannons pointed to the sky Clearly, the cannons are bin place to fight out the communist paratroops that will salt the skies, just like in RED DAWN.


    The second attraction are the Falls that give the city its name. Eroded out of Sioux Quarxite, also known as Jasper, the Falls gush winningly, but not long. We are underwhelmed. It's pretty, but will the memory last?

    Then again, we haven't gotten coffee yet. Fools we are!

    So, breakfast is courtesy of the fine, fine folks at Burger King.

    (Note from Morgan: Oh! I almost forgot. The Lil' Lolita from the HBO movie last night turned out to be an escapee from a mental hospital. I believe she died in the end, but I fell asleep reading about the Thirty Years' War. (Gustavus Adolphus rules!))

    We take off for Mitchell, SD, home of the Corn Palace.

    Then: drive, drive, drive.

    Mile 658: "Jack's Towing" promises 24-hr "TOE SERVICE".

    "Mister, you got a union that needs fixin' at 4 the the ay em? You better call Jack's"

    We wonder how many thousands of people have made the same joke about that misspelling.

    Then: drive, drive, drive.

    Two notes about billboards in the Great Plains.

    One, a human being would have to be deranged and blind to drive West on I-90 and not realize Wall Drug is coming up. As seen in Time, the International Herald Tribune, Western Horseman magazine, on London buses, and in Kenya, Africa! Thing is, Wall Drug starts advertising their presence about 300 MILES before you will be even close to them. It's probably so touristas don't drive into the Badlands before hitting Wall Drug.

    The thing about being a tourista (pronounced "tourISta!") is that many of the advertised things are never as wonderful as the anticipation. It's like the story of the knight and the princess in the tower.

    I can't remember if this is a parable from Nietzsche or Wittgenstein, but the knight is poor, yet he loves the princess, who is beautiful, yet haughty. She scoffs at his professions of love, yet he beseeches her to let him prove his devotion. She tells him he has to appear under her window every night, come what may, and that will prove his devotion.

    Though snow and rain and war, the knight appears every night. Sometimes his armor is dented, his sword notched, both covered in blood. Sometimes he looks as gallant as Romeo wooing Juliet.

    In any case, on night 364, the princess says to him, "Tomorrow night it will be a year. There are no wars to take you away, no barriers in the way. And now I must tell you, your devotion has won me over. We shall be wed immediately."

    The next night, the princess dresses in her finest garments. When night falls, she goes to her window.

    The knight is nowhere to be seen. She never sees him again.

    Which is to say: sometimes wanting gives more pleasure than having.

    (Tourista! A romance about music school graduates on a walkabout in Central America! Pyramids! Coups d'Etats! Closing soon at a Broadway theater!)

    Max: "Look! It's a turn! A turn in the road!"

    Then: drive, drive, drive.

    Mile 839: We have entered the Mountain Time Zone. Time turns back! Slow motion relativity!

    Anyway, the second note about billboards in the Great Plains. They sometimes tell youn things you want to know: Mitchell, SD has a Cabelas!

    We hit Mitchell, see the Corn Palace, which Morgan keeps calling the Cow Palace for no known reason. The banner of the Corn Palace reads "www.millenium.corn". We decide, in spite of bitterness brought on from long association with new media crap, to just let it go.

    And the Corn Palace is having a POLKA MASS! Older folks from across the Midwest seem to have arrived for a mass that starts at 10AM in the Palace. Clearly, this is kind of an annual Polka fest, and there are many ladies with crowns and matching dresses. It looks like a lot of fun. And any one who thinks a whole day of polka dancing doesn't sound like fun is tired of life. Polka is the rhythm of life.

    But we can't stay. After buying a CD of one of the bands who are going to play, we walk back to the car - - for new have MILES TO GO. Max decides not to buy Spingo a belt. Sorry, sucker.

    Anyway, we then get gas and ask for directions to Cabelas. Cabelas is a chain of huge outdoor good stores, for hiking, hunting, fishing, camping. Any kind of outdoor thing. Morgan has been to the one in Minnesota, between Rochester and the Twin Cities. After purchases are made, he asks, "Is the Cabelas in Minnesota the biggest one?"

    The lady answers, "It was up until two weeks ago. This one here is 85,000 square feet. The one in (name of town in Minnesota) is 125,000 square feet. They just opened one in Dundee, Michigan that's 200,000 square feet!"

    That's a lot of sporting goods.

    We get some fast food (McDonalds).

    Then: drive, drive, drive.

    Listen to polka CD. Then Nerf Herder, How to Meet Girls. M Mock billboards. Cross Missouri River. Fail to take the "Crappy Video of the Day!", because the camera isn't on. Max takes over driving.

    More later.

    Notes from Max - I believe this is the best thing I have done in the last ten years. That's all. I think my sanity is slowly coming back. Maybe I'll write when I'm fully human again.

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