Sunday, 17 June 2007

"I'm a stranger here, just blowed in your town..." 314 miles

Practically in as many days, I have moved 3 time zones - Pacific to Mountain, now in Central time.

I am driving across the Great Plains, where a huge proportion of the food is produced. It is wheat and cattle country. More or less completely flat as far as the eye can see, with the landscape dotted with grain elevators, and then there is the all pervading smell of... errr... cows.

Now I know what the cruise control is for. I have been on Highway 50 the whole day. The concept of miles now seems pointless. I have also given up on the map more or less, and am now navigating by the sun. It is behind me so I must be heading east.

When I eventually hit Dodge City, I am expecting a big place full of cowpokes. It is a smallish place desperately trying to turn itself into a theme park. I halt and meet Betty in the Boot Hill Information centre who patiently answers my questions and asks where I am from. I am then requested to push a pin into the european map she has set up. Every time you undertake a transaction in Boot Hill they ask where you are from. I have a load of pamphlets thrust into my hand and am asked to return early tomorrow for a guided tour round town. Everything seems to have a wild west twist; then again, this is/was the wild west. Not sure it is that wild now. However, everyone is terribly friendly and I am also beginning to experience a certain curiosity from the natives. This never happened on the west coast. Takes time to get to my motel as due to roadworks, traffic is moving slowly on Wyatt Earp.

As I check in I notice all the pictures are paintings or photos of cowboys and there is a tv in the lobby showing old cowboy movies or episodes of "Gunsmoke". Think it's time to freshen up a little then I guess I'll mosey into town...


Sand the student in Bangkok said...

Good evening Oh Dark One,

well, you are motoring well.
Still in the Mustang? or have you changed to a horse yet?

Glad to hear you are mixing with the locals! Was 'Doug in the bar' chewing dried grass by any chance?

Hope the weather is good for your trip!
Here in Bangkok it's started tipping down, and I believe the UK had a few spots of rain last week? One month rain fell in one day?

Love the tales of your adventure!!
Looking forward to hearing you again when you return!

Take care
sand the student

Anonymous said...

Howdy there Alex!! Hope Dodge City is ready for a visitation by the UK's Dark Lord. Imagine the pace of life has now slowed down somewhat, and you will be purchasing a stetson plus boots and spurs before you depart for your next port of call.

Enjoy your guided tour - I'm sure the curiosity of the natives will be satisfied in abundance once they get you into conversaton.

Take care, I'm pleased you've found the need for cruise control - imagine there's not much use for that sort of thing in the Black Country!!

Best wishes, Jane T, Redcar

judithollows said...

You're experiencing the southern kindnesses I've had ...........just mosey over here!

Anonymous said...

Re roadworks - shame you didn't have Bowlesy or Sally Traffic to warn you about those!!!

rockchic said...

Have just returned from a smaller (music!) road trip in the States myself, taking in Louisianna, Mississippi, Tennesee and Georgia. All very different and all very interesting. Saw a black bear in the Smoky Mountain NP! It´s great fun travelling around in the States! Did a "Western" version some 12 years ago and covered many miles! Hope you have as much fun and as many different experiences that we did!

All the best!

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex, are you going to visit Hastings, Nebraska? It looks to be about 150 miles north east of Dodge. It's the town where Kool-Aid was invented!

terry tossser said...

hi alex hope your cruising the great plains of the usa hows the beer good i hope take care all the best from manchester
terry tosser