Miles traveled: 371 Location: Sheridan, Wyoming
Least We Forget: My first contact with the outside world this morning started with: A 15 year old girl holds hands with her 1 year old son. People call her a slut, no one knows she was raped at 13. Sat down with a stubby pencil and could come up with some 15 or so women I knew that for one reason or another had kids at 15 or less and they are or were all in prison. Their average education was the 6th grade. Then I pick up a paper to look over at breakfast and on the front page is a story that 50 percent of all pregnancies are unintended. Then there was the Orphaned trains to Kansas.
The orphan train movement began in 1854 and continued until 1930. During this 75 year time span, somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 orphaned,l abandoned, and homeless children were sent “west” from New York on trains to find new families. I am thinking that we need to cast our 15 year old mother in terms that drop the slut and insert heroin because she cares when so many others haven’t.
Weather: I am told this morning was 50 or so degrees and I certainly believe it. No matter how you cut it, it was cold. There were some hills when we first left Butte and there was a noticeable temperature drop as we traveled into the shadows. Then, you could feel another temperature drop as we drove through the shadows of the clouds. By 1300, it was just plain too hot to wear leather and off it came for the ventilation of tee shirts.
Gambling: At first, I thought it was just a local thing when we crossed into Montana from Idaho. But these guys take their gambling very seriously. Every town I past through had a stack of casinos and they were well advertised. Not only were there casinos but it seemed as if every casino had a bar. Don’t know how a state with as small a population as Montana can support so many casinos but they seem to function well in
Trains and the interstate highways: I may be skating on thin ice here, but it seems to me that the entire westward leg of I-10 paralleled the Southern Pacific transcontinental while I-90 appears to parallel the Northern Pacific Railroad. Then for who knows what reason, it came to mind that the northern route was build by Chinese labor from the Pacific and Irish labor from the Atlantic. Then it all made sense that the real back work and planning had been done at least a 100 years prior to the initiation of the Interstate system by President Eisenhower. What totally baffles me is why is the Mexican influence so strong here. I am not talking of just Taco Bell but it seemed as if every place I ate had a Mexican dish or flavors on the menu. Oh well, such is life.
Sturgis: Bike week has yet to start and we can see bikes moving along I-90 towards Sturgis by the dozen. Unlike bike week at Panama City, Florida-I have yet to see one trailer hauling bikes behind a pick-up. Lots of bikes loaded with camping gear more bikes with trailers than I expected. What is noticeable, so far, is that they are all dirty and for the most part have been on the road at least a week. You can not get a very good idea of the number of bikes at this camp site and worse yet is that we are right by the entrance and they come rolling in and out. They are all big bikes with lots of gear on them. They also make lots of noise and the riders have come from a long distance or at least look as if they have come from a long distance. we go through Sturgis in the hopes of finding an open vendor that will have a fairing to replace mine broken in the spill. Then on to wounded knee.
POST SCRIPT from accident in Seattle: when I fell my head hit the road with a total thud. Know full well I have banged my head on several occassions and there is not the single doubt in my mind that had I not had a helmet on my head would have been cracked like a water melon.