We logged over 500 miles soaking up kilowatts like a dry sponge soaks up water. The speed limit out here is 80mph which causes the car to run through juice at a prodigious rate confirming that wind resistance increases by the square of your speed. After the first two stops where Larry rolled in with less than 10% of the available charge Michelle insisted on driving the rest of the time.
|Not a good picture of the screen but the upper grey line is where the car expects you to be in energy usage. The lower line is where you get if you drive too fast.|
We could have actually arrived at the motel before 9 but decided to detour a couple of miles and what turned out to be over an hour to see Mount Rushmore all lit up. It turns out that at nigh there is a whole presentation before they turn on the lights including a very well given talk by a Park Service employee that is not the same every time, a film that is the same every time, lighting of the mountain and then a flag lowering and folding ceremony that includes all the veterans and active duty people in the audience. It was very nicely done and afterwards we got talking to a couple in the area for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally who were actually on their first date. He lives in North Dakota and it was his second day in a row at Rushmore and his third time this year. She was fairly local and had never been there so he had insisted she had to see it. They rode in on the ridiculous contraption seen in the pictures below. He was a real character and they were fun to talk to and as we spent so much time chatting we missed the traffic leaving. However we were the last people to check in at the motel once again.
|The do look a little ghostly but then again they have been dead for a long time|
Not much else to report. As this will not be published for a while we want to apologize with an explanation. The text is written contemporaneously in Word on a portable computer I borrowed from school, often while driving. It is then uploaded to the blog when we have a good enough internet connection but not actually made available until the pictures are inserted using Larry's notebook computer that has Photoshop and the storage room for the pictures but does not have a functioning battery. So there are two snags that cause the posting lag we have. One is a poor internet connection which prohibits uploading the text and really impacts picture loading which happens at some out of the way motels and most campgrounds. That can be circumvented by using the phone as a hot spot but that requires a decent cell signal which we rarely have in Middle America and almost never in out favorite haunts, the US National Parks. The other issue has been that the computer without the battery is very sensitive to voltage variations and refuses to work on the cigarette lighter adapter we bought specifically for that. It also fails to start in brownouts. So we have been late for both reasons and are currently four days behind due to having both types of computer issues and a lack of time as we have been filling our days doing so much that we lack time to do more than just get our thoughts down each day. Sorry.
States involved: We drove through much of Montana which is one enormous state. We then reentered Wyoming before after 500+ miles finally getting into a new state for us, South Dakota.
Big Timber MT – 20 minutes – The weirdest thing about this town is that despite the town name the downtown area the majority of the buildings in town and all the large ones are stone
Billings MT– 60 minutes - including lunch at a very good and very convenient restaurant
Sheridan WY – 45 minutes 35 of which were spent with a couple of locals very interested in the car.
Gillette WY– 60 minutes The car was done before we were done with our third Mexican dinner in a row. This one was of much better quality though..
Keystone, SD – We get to again charge while we sleep which is a great luxury.
Church of the Day –There are many of these rather informal churches out here.
Song of the Day - Motel Life – Willie Nile - Although the motels are a little more comfortable than tenting it is getting old being on the road.
Coolest Thing of the Day – Larry – Mount Rushmore at night is pretty cool although impossible to take a decent photo of without fancier equipment than we have.
Coolest Thing of the Day - Michelle – We only did one thing and she thinks that while the faces were really creepy at night it was the best part of the day.