I left the Seattle area on I-90, drove through Eastern Washington, noticing the hundreds of tarp covered barn sized stacks of straw and hay. A grain elevator must have been full because the extra wheat was being stored as a small hill outside under a grain conveyor. I continued through Spokane to spend the night in Missoula. I spent the next morning inupper older Butte Montana, with many mine shaft headrigs and red brick buildings from the 19th century, when it was the”the Richest Hill on Earth,” the largest city between Chicago and San Francisco, with 10,000 miles of mine tunnels and 46 miles of vertical shafts. I visited the now closed gigantic Berkeley (open mining) Pit, which is now filling with toxic water. A water treatment plant is being prepared to function before the pit overflows.
As I approached Yellowstone Park from the West, I drove up the Madison River past a dam formed in 1959 when a 7.3 earthquake sent 80 million tons of rock into the river, forming Earthquake Lake. Further up the river, the Hebgen Dam was damaged and the lakeshore tilted, flooding cabins on the North shore and lifting the South shore. It is now called “Tilted Lake.”
The lodges inside Yellowstone were booked, but I got a room at the lodge like Stage Coach Inn in West Yellowstone. Inside the park, there was a traffic jamb as a herd of humans walked down to the river just 50 feet from a herd of Buffalo. There were several groups of geysers North of Old Faithful and many groups of Japanese tourists enjoying the sights. Old faithful has a viewing area with an arc of benches maybe 200 feet from the geyser, and there must a been 400 folks waiting for the eruption, which happened a few minutes before the park ranger predicted it. I continued East and around the magnificent Yellowstone lake, and came head to head with a single Buffalo, who insisted on walking slowly down the middle of the road as I drove as close to the edge of the road as possible. I drove over an 8000 foot pass East of the park and stopped at Buffalo Bill Dam, West of Cody, which at the time of its completion in 1910, was the tallest dam in the world, and enabled irrigation of 90,000 acres of farmland.
In South Dakota, on Interstate 90, on the south side of the Missouri River is an impressive 50 foot high stainless steel statue of a Native American woman called ‘Dignity,’
I saw lots of truck tractors with 4 instead of 3 axles towing 4 axle trailors (30 wheelers instead of the usual 18 wheel semi-trucks,) and and countless cattle trailers going to and from the slaughter houses. So much of the ‘flyover country’ is devoted to meat production, but I found a great gourmet vegan restaurant, “Modern Love” in Omaha, which was fully booked at 5 PM, but they found a place for me at a counter.
My next vegan dining experience was at ‘Seedz’ in a trendy part of At Louis, where I had a fresh squeezed juice and a pesto pizza, and met a woman psychic at one of the tables plying her trade with tarot cards, numerology, etc. We talked a while about her diet, called ‘Primal,’ which is mostly Paleo but with raw meat (yuk,) as prescribed by Aajonus Vonderplanitz:
I was particularly interested in the steel arch Eads Bridge over the Mississippi, finished in 1874, as significant and advanced as the Brooklyn Bridge of the same era, designed and built by self educated engineer James Eads, who also made deep draft navigation possible at the mouth of the Mississippi.
I had read about Eads in a book by engineer Arthur Morgan, “Dams and Other Disasters.”
I rode my folding bike around the St. Louis downtown, took the tram up the inside the 700 foot high ‘Gateway Arch,’ toured the old train station with a magnificent hotel lobby,and happened upon a FOX promotion of the TV series “X-Gene,” where they were giving away $100 DNA sampling tests, and I swabbed the inside of my cheeks for my DNA sample, will know about my genetic heritage in a few weeks .
I am in Marietta, Georgia with Patricia, who I met online. She was born in Cartagena and grew up in Bogata, a US citizen for decades now. She has had a long career in the arts with many types of media. One of her daughters and grandchildren lives nearby.