Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

Well here we have yet another sign challenge. I’ve already done posts for both Ailsa and Cee for this theme, so I thought I may be running out of signs to show you, but it’s become obvious to me that I’m fascinated by signs, as I’ve found quite a number that I haven’t used before.

Whilst in California, on our way from Las Vegas to San Francisco, I was rather surprised to see this signpost to Johannesburg. At the time, my home was in Johannesburg South Africa, and I really thought I was much further away from home than 1 mile. 🙂 I have since looked up this place on the internet, and found that Johannesburg CA, was founded to support mining operations at nearby Randsburg, and that this town was named Johannesburg, by miners who had previously worked in the gold-producing region of South Africa. It has a population of only 172 people.

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Still in the USA, we found a pyramid and a Luxor sign in Las Vegas. Who needs to travel to Egypt?

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Also on the same trip, we found ourselves at the O.K, Corral, in Tombstone Arizona, the site of the infamous gunfight in which Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp, fought the Clantons and McLaurys in October 1881.

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Here is general George Custer’s tombstone at the Little Bighorn battlefield in Wyoming, which is supposed to mark the place where he fell during the 1876 battle against the combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. This has been named ‘Custer’s Last Stand’.

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On our journey from La Paz to Machu Picchu, we stayed overnight at this hotel in Huatajata on the bank of Lake Titicaca. As you can see, it boasts the highest elevator in the world, at 12,550 feet.

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On our fabulously scenic ten-hour ride from Puno to Cusco, Peru’s most beautiful city, we stopped off at the highest point of our trip, La Region Puno Les Desea pass at an altitude of 14,200 feet. There was a woman there, doing a roaring trade in thick jerseys and hats made of Alpaca wool. I was feeling rather cold at such a high altitude, so bought a jersey, but drew the line at wearing a woolly hat with pom-poms dangling under my chin. Vanity before warmth, I always say. 🙂

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Back to more normal altitudes; outside Bangkok there are salt flats, and we saw this lady selling bags of salt. I have no idea how much they were, as I don’t read Siamese.

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Here on Phi Phi Island, hubby wanted my pic taken with the laundry sign, as he often jokes about my concern that we should always have clean and ironed clothes on our travels, however difficult that may prove to be.

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Here in Kuta Beach Bali, we found this sign really funny, and thought it should rather have read, ‘Bogus Watch’, as they were all fake replicas of the really expensive famous makes.

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Lastly, here are many signs down the street in the Beiyuanmen Muslim Market in X’ian. This pic was taken in 1999, before it became a tourist attraction well known for its food stalls and souvenir shops. Of course the signs are all in Chinese, so I really have no clue what they say. 😕

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I have still more signs, just in case we get another challenge, so bring it on. 😀

To see more bloggers signs, just click here.

Awesome Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Deadwood.

Day four of my Great American road trip. From my journal May 2nd 2010:

“After a good night’s sleep and an adequate breakfast, we set off from Rapid City to Mount Rushmore. The sun is shining, but it isn’t at all warm. I’m blown across the car park with my just blow dried hair flying in all directions, especially over my eyes.  There’s no sign of snow and I can see patches of blue sky peeping through the grey clouds. Eight degrees  centigrade. Luxury!  As we drive through the town, we see amazing life size bronze statues of past presidents. There are apparently 17 of these dotted around the sidewalks. Hubby remarks that they wouldn’t last long in a South African city. They would all be carted away in the night and sold for scrap metal. Sad isn’t it?

As we drive out of town, every second building we pass seems to be a motel or a restaurant. We stop for petrol and I’m so grateful it isn’t me who has to get out and stand in the freezing wind to fill the tank. No petrol attendants here, or in England for that matter. We are very spoilt in South Africa, sitting in the car whilst our windscreens are washed and our tanks filled.

We’re now in South Dakota and I’m singing that old Doris Day song, “Take me back to the Black hills, the Black hills of Dakota.”  How do I even know that song??  Surely it was long before my time! The rocks look like black slate and are covered with pine trees. I must have seen a zillion of them in the last few days. We pass by ‘Thunder Goldmine, Crystal Caverns, Get Lost Maze,’ and many other tourist sites. This place must really be buzzing in the holiday season, but not in this weather. The highway passes through the Black Forest, and the temperature starts to drop as we roll into historic Keystone, a picturesque town of wooden shop fronts. Hubby braves the biting wind to get a photo.

We’re soon out of town and heading up towards Mount Rushmore National Memorial. As we round a bend at the top of the hill, suddenly, there it is in all it’s amazing glory. Absolutely breathtakingly stunning! The faces are so unbelievably lifelike and their eyes seem to look straight at you.

We drive into the car park and I’m so glad of my warm coat, hat and scarf. It’s icy cold and the wind is whistling  all around us.

After getting a closer look, we go into the shop where it’s lovely and warm and I buy my Mom some pink and white Mount Rushmore socks and a coffee mug which I know she’ll be very proud of.

Then we’re off to “Crazy Horse” 17 miles away, past ‘ Horse Thief Lake and Breezy Picnic Area.’ (You can say that again!) Never a more breezy place have I visited. I’ll never moan about the wind in Umhlanga again.

Driving along, there are snowflakes falling and we spot a few wooden houses through the fir trees. Higher up, there are still large patches of snow as we approach the Crazy Horse Monument. It’s still under construction and is HUMONGOUS!

They say that the Mount Rushmore sculpture would  fit into just the head of Crazy Horse. It was started in 1948 by  a Polish American, Korczak Ziolkowski and after his death in 1982, his wife and seven of his ten children have carried on the work. The video we saw of how it all came about, was truly awe inspiring. What a story! This is a model on the left showing what the finished sculpture will look like, with the actual in the distance.

Then we’re off to Deadwood, a 90 minute drive away and it’s started to snow again. No blue sky left, just heavy white clouds. We cross the bridge over Pactola Lake and there‘s nothing to see except more pine trees, tiny snowflakes, and sleet. We pass a sign to Nemo, but there’ll be no finding him today. We’re on a mission to get to Deadwood and have some lunch.  When we arrive we see a place called ‘Mustang Sally’s’, opposite the Harley dealer, and decide it will be a  good place to eat. This place has seen better days and has lots of mismatched tables and chairs and a dozen huge TV screens each showing a different sports channel. Framed baseball shirts line the walls and there’s a cabinet full of silver trophies.

I sit and watch the 136th Kentucky Derby as I eat my butterflied shrimp and French fries. In the ladies loo there’s  a dispenser for “Slick Willy” condoms. Love the name! 😉 The town is mainly gaming parlors and sports saloons and I’m sure in the tourist season, is absolutely frenetic.

Then we’re on our way to Billings, a 5 hour drive on the Interstate. Hubby announces, “Next stop Custer’s Last Stand.” It’s 6pm when we arrive at the Custer Memorial and they’re just closing the gates, but hubby pleads with the man in charge to just let us in long enough to take a couple of photos, and he obliges;  good man. This is the site of The Battle of Little Bighorn where General Custer and his men  were defeated by the Red Indians led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. It has a really eerie feeling to it, as we stand there in the cold wind, surveying this historic scene.

Next stop along the way is the Trading Post Cafe where we have “Cowboy soup and Indian fried bread.” Very good for the waistline I’m  sure. 😉 It’s very tasty though.

Then it’s only one hour to Billings, and in the distance we can see Yellowstone National Park looking very white indeed. This is where we are headed tomorrow, but tonight we are here at the Crown Plaza Hotel and ready for a good night’s sleep before we set off again on our adventure.”

I hope you’re enjoying my account of our snowy, freezing cold adventure. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. 😉