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Buddy Holly

Day Twenty Six - Thursday 20th April, 2006

We checked out of the Sheraton Hotel and said our good byes to Glen who was heading back to Perth. He took the shuttle bus to OHare and found that the Perth Travel Agent had not booked his flight from Chicago to LA and so he had to buy a ticket to get to his LA flight. Hopefully someone will get a kick up the rear end for that and Glen will get his money back.
Rayls and I headed along I90 into Wisconsin and up to Madison before we turned onto a highway (16 ?) and headed across some magnificent countryside and eventually across the Mississippi River into Iowa. We had planned to get to Mason City but did that very comfortably and so moved onto Clear Lake.
For those of you who dont know, Clear Lake is some what known for the fact that it was here on 3rd February 1959 Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper played their last concert before the plane crash that resulted in their deaths. The day the music died.
Thanks to the internet we were able to go to the farm where the plane crashed the directions were pretty good and we found the memorial which has been placed at the location of the crash.  A lot  of people wonder why would we want to go there but it was an moving experience for us and another dream fulfilled.
We also went into the city of Clear Lake and found the Surf Ballroom where that last concert was played and took some photos.
On our way out of Clear Lake we stopped at a restaurant for some dinner and the server asked why we were in town.  Gaz told her and she obviously had no idea who Buddy Holly was.  She was only 15 but you would think they would teach it at school as part of local history!  The main street of town is Buddy Holly Boulevard.
We ended up the day in Fairmont, Minnesota after driving around 470 miles it had been a good day.   A biggie miles wise but it was a good day and we were now kind of anxious to get to our friends, Amy and Steve, in Utah.

Day Twenty Seven - Friday 21st April, 2006

Yesterdays 470 miles was nothing compared to what we did today.
We set out from Fairmont (our new worst hotel for the trip) on 90 for Rapid City in South Dakota. Somewhere along the way we gained an hour and so arrived fairly early 3:30pm.
Rapid City is mostly famous for Mount Rushmore but we had been there on our 2003 trip. We mainly wanted to go to Bear Country which is a drive through place where you can see bears in the wild. Rayls really enjoyed it in 2003. We never thought to see if it was open because it had been open at the same time of year in 2003.  Anyway, it was on the way so no big deal.
So at 3:30pm we were at the gate to Bear Country, having driven 450 miles, only to find it closed for the season.  It opens 29th May. We guess the bears were hibernating, they seemed wide awake in 2003.
Anyway we decided to head on.  We are anxious to get to Cedar City and so we bypassed Mount Rushmore and headed south west.
We drove through the Black Hills with some magnificent scenery. The scenery had been really nice all day South Dakota east of Rapid City is fairly flat but has some real character and colour.
We really out did ourselves and ended up driving 720 miles.  Way too far in a day but it just sort of happened. We ended up in Casper, Wyoming not such a spooky place.

Day Twenty Eight - Saturday 22nd April, 2006

Today  we started out early and once again marveled at the different scenery as we drove across to I80 which we had last seen just prior to Chicago.
We went through the towns of Rawlins, Rock Springs and Green River on our way into Utah and Salt Lake City.  We spent about 3 hours in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy.  Rayls went to a shop called Quilts Etc where she had a lovely time and spent lots of money.  The we headed onto Provo, dinner at a Sizzler.
We started looking for a hotel for the night in provo but ended up in Nephi, just a couple of hours from Cedar City where we will stay for a week with our friend Amy and her hubbie Steve and son Daniel. This is sort of the holiday within the holiday.  A week to relax before heading on to Vegas for a couple of days, then LA for a day or so before going home.