Friday, March 26, 2010

From the Black Hills to Bozeman

Silent pines—granite rock face—the ice on Horsethief Lake—endless billboards for roadside attractions & an obsession with gold mining—a sacred place transformed to a rough & ready Disneyland—an obsession with natural resources “going to waste” by not being “used”—i.e., extracted—the sky is very sincerely blue tho as only in the west—four presidents carved into a mountain—the audacity & hubris of this—still, at least 3 of the 4 held positions now hated by the uber-patriotic conservatives—this country in a sad time, same as it ever was—the massive face of Crazy Horse emerging from another mountain & a solitary crow flying—

Brick buildings in Deadwood—the old Northwestern line depot transformed to a tourist info center—I’m wobbling around the cobblestone streets with a camera, dazed with fatigue & jittery from roadside coffee—a bust of Wild Bill Hickock, gambler & killer & lawman—the Anglo west with its lust for gold & land—

Wyoming: herds of pronghorns grazing near the pumpjacks & looking up to see the Burlington Northern hauling open containers of coal east—fiestaware cups in a Moorcroft diner—road workers eating chicken fingers & fries amongst the scattered high chairs & Sponge Bob Square Pants on the tube—the workers in work boots & ball caps all have an edge & everyone looks straight ahead—a boy refuses to let a girl sit on a plastic seat in the play area, keeping his feet
firmly planted on it—same as it ever was—so she decides to play with an abacus—

Montana: the truss railroad bridges crossing the Little Big Horn—horses grazing on either side of a roughly paved highway that runs parallel to the interstate—a school bus flashing red lights—the battlefield itself unnaturally quiet & a waxing half moon rising above the battle ridge—nearby a gift shop & teepees in fiestaware colors—in Billings the refineries are smoking & flashing & a Holiday Inn is festooned with fake palm trees in an array of fiestaware colors—the truss bridges crossing the Yellowstone River & its sandbars—snow in the hills & rain along the highway—home is the one thing on my mind but I only make Bozeman, not Butte—home today—


  1. I haven't been through Bozeman in years, but when I was there it impressed me as nice town: Lovely setting, progressive paper, independent book store, and even a nice coffee shop. Too bad it's so damn cold there nine months out of the year.

    Larry McMurtry wrote that Montana is the prettiest state in the Lower 48. I wouldn't be surprised if he's right. If you're counting all fifty, though, give me Hawaii any day!

  2. man, i really, really need a roadtrip out to de parts!!!

    thanks for posting the pic of crazy horse nice to see the added detail from when I was there in '99. inch by inch.

  3. Hi K & Mouse

    K: By the time I made Bozeman I was completely incapable of making any assessment! I would agree that Montana is quite spectacular.

    Mouse: I have a better Crazy Horse pic that I'll send you on FB once I'm a bit more awake! Thanks for the encouragment to check out the Badlands/Black Hills!

  4. I'm sure it's all in the mind, but battle sites often seem to have a grim feel to them.

  5. Dominic: That's true--it seemed particularly pungent here, but that may have been my fatigue.


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