Day 34: July 19, 2016
Disappointment Dodged

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Last night, as I was doing my laundry, I struck up a conversation with another fellow with dirty clothes. He told me that Evel Knievel was buried in Butte and I thought that would be a good place to stop on the way out of town. But a museum I wanted to visit doesn't open until 10:00 so the Evel visit came first followed by backtracking just a little to the museum.

As I said in a real-time Tweet, When I arrived at the grave, I jumped over Evel Knievel. I also admitted it was childish but I felt childishness in a person my age was OK. Despite it being childish, I figured it was fairly common. After all the stuff he jumped over, jumping over him seemed like something people would naturally do. However, a far from exhaustive internet search turned up nothing so maybe not. Hope I didn't start something. Or maybe I hope I did.

I walked by the Piccadilly Transportation Museum last night between breweries but it was already closed for the day. It seemed like something worth sticking around to see and I was right. Presentation and organization are rather casual but there is an awful lot of stuff in there. That Pikes Peak Ocean to Ocean Highway sign definitely caught my eye. I suspect it is one of the more valuable signs in the collection.

I frequently come across something by surprise that I should have known was there and I feel silly when I do. Today I got to feel silly twice over the same thing and came close to three. The first I knew that I was anywhere near Pompey's Pillar was when I saw a sign on the expressway. That was silly number one. I instantly recognized the name and I knew it was something I wanted to see but I couldn't remember why. I checked with my phone before I walked to the building and was reminded that this is where William Clark scratched his name into the soft stone in 1806. It is the only evidence of the Corps of Discovery that physically exists on the land. That was silly number two.

I didn't spend a lot of time passing through the visitor center but neither did I rush. I walked to the base of the pillar and took a couple of pictures before I started up the stairs. As I paused on a lower landing to take another picture, a lady several steps above me urged me on. Lightning had been sighted and the pillar was being closed. Rangers were directing people down the steps behind her. I only had to reach the next level to see the signature, she told me. I could make it if I hurried. I obviously made it and I actually had plenty of time to photograph it before the last ranger on the pillar very politely took me in tow. We walked down the steps together and he locked the chain at the bottom behind us.

Getting to within yards of Clark's signature and not seeing it would have been the biggest silly of all. I found the lady who had warned me as I again passed through the visitor center and I thanked her profusely. The storm was rapidly closing in on the pillar and rain was falling before I reached my car.

When I started guessing where I would end the day, the town of Forsyth started popping up and sounding slightly familiar. The familiarity came from a very nice picture of the other side of the Buff's sign that Gregory Hasman posted in the Our Highway Facebook group about a week ago. I tried to get a room in the almost next door Howdy Hotel but that didn't work out and I'm not entirely sure I can explain why. Instead, I got a nice room on the other side of the tracks at the Restwel Motel.

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