Day 25 - Greybull to Mount Rushmore

Trip Start Aug 20, 2008
Trip End Sep 23, 2008

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Flag of United States  , South Dakota
Sunday, September 14, 2008

It was a mild night, which meant Monty slept well and therefore so did we!  We were eager to get off as we had set ourselves an ambitious days travel ahead.   Our ultimate goal was to reach Mount Rushmore, but the challenge was whether we could make the journey interesting.  We did.
Have you ever watched those old fashioned Cowboy films?   Well we have been there.   We saw sights and read names that conjured up all the imagination of those old days, when good always overcame evil and the best thing was a plate of beans by a campfire or a whiskey at the Saloon (take your pick).
We set off through the Bighorn National Forest - yes that is the area associated with the Battle of Little Bighorn, when he was defeated by Big Chief Crazy Horse - more of him later.  What sights we saw as we followed the Shell Creek Canyon through the Big Horn Mountains, up to the high point of the pass at 9000ft.   It was high enough for the snow to be still on the ground.  It was cold and sadly today was also a little damp; it drizzled both sides of lunch.   The area was very popular with hunters and we saw lots of guys, dressed in combats, either on Quad Bikes (4x4 ATVs) or in most cases on horseback.  We saw two guys setting off with bow and Arrows, but not your ordinary bows!    Throughout the day we saw lots of deer and antelope, which perhaps accounts of the number of hunters.   We were also amused by an advert we heard on the radio for the local prize wining taxidermist - perhaps we should not have been.
The route we had chosen was one of many Scenic Byways that we had been picking out.  Marked for the beuty and the views they offer, they never disappointed us.   As this particular route descended to the high plains of Wyoming, it was like being on a Pyrenees pass, only better - oh for the motorbike.   We stopped for lunch at a small town hostelry and decided to partake of local fare - choosing a bowl of chilli (which turned out to be served in a medium sized bread roll).   The dining room was adorned with local anecdotes and one that sticks in the mind read "A horse that farts will never tire, a cowboy that farts is the one to hire!"   As we progressed across the plains of Wyoming, we commented how it was like crossing the M62 (a UK Motorway for those who do not know) only a few hundred miles longer and with far less exits.   We headed through Buffalo, listening to Country Music as went (worryingly, we were getting a taste for this).
After a long drive we crossed into South Dakota and the final leg of our journey for the day.   We arrived at the Crazy Horse Memorial.   Words cannot describe this spectacle - look at the pictures or go and read about it on the web.  Needless to say, the face, which has already taken tens of years to complete, is 10 storeys high.   It was really impressive and I suspect we will not see the finished article in our time.
Tomorrow we see Mount Rushmore, before pressing on eastward.
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