As long as rivers run - Salt Lake, Rapid City, Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC

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North America » United States
November 8th 2006
Published: November 16th 2006
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My Lands are where my dead lie buried

(This was the answer of Crazy Horse to a derisive question).

As I was leaving the USA the results of the midterms were being announced. I’m pleased to see that the Republicans are being punished for their war in Iraq. Randolph Bourne said “War is the health of the State”. This was the case for the Republicans and Bush in previous elections but now that America is losing the war the American people have turned on the architects of the war. So, I was also very pleased to see that Rumsfeld has been given the boot. I’ll be even happier when he’s up in court for war crimes - he deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail. But then, I was always against the neo-cons plans. I marched with 2 million others through London just before the war. Not that Blair took the slightest notice.

During the election campaign Bush started desperately spouting the slogan, “What’s your plan”. It was meant to be a criticism of the opposition. In fact, it more accurately described his problem. He had no policy except more of the same.

1 out of 10 Mr President. Must try harder.


On the 18th of October I flew from Calgary in Canada to Salt Lake City. I decided to fly because the bus journey would have taken a couple of days. Even then the flight, because I took the cheapest option took 10 hours. It took so long because I flew via Denver and Phoenix; using 3 different planes. I arrived in the evening and went straight to a hotel near the airport.

The next day I took a taxi into town to find another hotel. I mentioned to the taxi driver that I needed to get my glasses mended. He ended up taking me to the Wal-Mart store a dozen blocks from the city centre. It was the first Wal-Mart I’ve visited in the USA. The optician in the store fixed the problem in a few minutes. He didn’t charge.

Then I walked into town and booked into a hotel. I spent the rest of the day touring the city. Salt Lake City is the home of the Mormons, so I had to visit Temple Square, the centre of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I allowed myself to be shown around by a couple of Mormon women, keeping my opinion of religion to myself. The Mormon guides were very earnest and pretty - one was from Taiwan, the other from Thailand. The fact that they were pretty women made it easier to humour them even though I agree with the sentiments of the old Wobblie song, ‘The Preacher and the Slave’.

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right;
But when asked how ‘bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:

You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.

(The Preacher and the Slave; Joe Hill from the Industrial Workers of the World Songbook).

At 7am the next morning of October 20th I caught the bus to Rapid City. It was a 25 hour journey with a stop for 5 hours in the city of Denver in the evening. The long break allowed me to walk into Denver. I was able to get sushi for dinner rather than the usual mountains of grease that seems to be all that is available on roadside stops in the States.


When the bus arrived in Rapid City at 9am it was cold and it had snowed overnight. I slid around the pavements of the town looking for a place to stay. When I found a hotel, I then hired a car. I needed to hire a car because the tourist season was finished. All the tours to the nearby attractions had stopped for the season.

Once I had the car I drove 30 miles to Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore was designed by Gutzon Borlum, a son of Danish immigrants. The four American Presidents that you can see in my photos that are carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore were chosen to commemorate the founding, growth, preservation and development of the United States. George Washington signifies the struggle for independence; Thomas Jefferson territorial expansion; Abraham Lincoln the permanent union of the States, and Theodore Roosevelt, the 20th Century role of the United States in world affairs.

After a few of hours at Mount Rushmore my next stop was the Crazy Horse monument, a drive of half an hour.

Crazy Horse is the world’s largest work of art. Only the head of the Indian Lakota chief is finished. The finished head is 87.5 feet high. It is bigger than all four presidents of Mount Rushmore put together. But that is only part of the monument. The horse’s head will be 219 feet
View of Manhattan, New York from Weehawken, New JerseyView of Manhattan, New York from Weehawken, New JerseyView of Manhattan, New York from Weehawken, New Jersey

This was the view from my hotel in New Jersey
high when it is finished.

Crazy Horse was a spiritual and military leader of the Lakota Indians. He was born on Rapid Creek in the Black Hills of South Dakota about 1842. While at Fort Robinson, Nebraska under a flag of truce, he was stabbed in the back by an American soldier on September 6th 1877.

The Black Hills have spiritual and religious meaning for the Lakota Indians. Although the hills were stolen from the Indians by the American government any Lakota Sioux will tell you that, “The Black Hills are ours”.

It is therefore appropriate that Crazy Horse’s monument is being carved out of a mountainside in the Black Hills and somewhat ironic that Mount Rushmore is also in the Black Hills.

The work on Crazy Horse was started in 1949 by Korezak Ziolkowski who was born in Boston of Polish descent. Korezak was asked by the Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear to work on a statue of Crazy Horse.

My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red men has great heroes too.

(Chief Henry Standing Bear)

Although Korezak is now dead the project is being continued by his widow and children. It has become a family project, it receives no federal funding. The money comes from private donations and receipts from the admission charge.

Korezak wrote that Crazy Horse defended his people in the only way he knew, BUT...

Only after he saw the treaty of 1868 broken. This treaty, signed by the President of the United States, said, in effect: As long as rivers run and grass grows and trees bear leaves, Paha Sapa - the Black Hills of Dakota - will forever be the sacred lands of the Sioux Indians.

Only after he saw his leader Conquering Bear, exterminated by treachery.

Only after he saw the failure of the government agents to bring required treaty guarantees...

Only after he saw his peoples’ lives and their way of life ravaged and destroyed.

The next day I drove out to the town of Wall, which is an hour’s drive away from Rapid City. I wanted to see the Wounded Knee Museum. Unfortunately it was closed for the season. The Wounded Knee Museum commemorates all those who were killed at Wounded Knee in 1890.

We tried to run, but they shot us like buffalo. I know there are some good white people, but the soldiers must be mean to shoot children and women.

Louise Weasel Bear quoted in Bury my heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown; ISBN 0-8050-6669-1.

Wounded Knee was the last of a long line of atrocities committed by the US Army against Indians.

The massacres began with Christopher Columbus. His landing initiated genocide of the indigenous people of Hispaniola. This was the first stage of an expansion (Manifest Destiny), which meant the violent expulsion of Indians and unspeakable atrocities, until they were herded into reservations like so much cattle.

Monday 23rd I returned the car and caught a bus to Chicago at 9.15am. I spent all day and night on the bus.


I arrived at the Greyhound bus station at 5.30am on the 24th. It was too early to walk around the city, so I waited until daylight before leaving the station. I left my luggage in a locker in the station so that I could walk around Chicago. I spent all morning exploring the city. I looked for somewhere to stay in the afternoon only to find some places full and expensive. The receptionist in a hotel that was full gave me a copy of her list of hotels with vacancies. So, I walked to the Congress Plaza Hotel, which appeared to have most vacancies. When I got there, I found a picket line outside. I wasn’t going to stay in a hotel where the staff were on strike, so I continued walking down the road. Fortunately there was a hotel with vacancies half a mile further down the road.

The next day I climbed Sears Tower, which is the tallest building in the US. Some of the photos of Chicago on this blog were taken from the viewing platform in Sears Tower.

In the afternoon I made my way to the Haymarket Monument. The Haymarket Monument is in memory of the events of May 3rd 1886, when 350,000 workers went on
Salt Lake TempleSalt Lake TempleSalt Lake Temple

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).
strike for an 8 hour day.

My guide book didn’t mention anything about the monument. I had to find its location on the internet. It is 9 miles outside of the city centre at Forest Gate Cemetery. There is a direct train to a station only 2 blocks north of the cemetery.

Next to the Haymarket Monument is the grave of Emma Goldman, who was an American feminist and anarchist.

On the 26th I visited the Art Institute of Chicago in the morning before jumping on a bus at 4pm. I was on my way to Boston. It was another 24 hour journey.


I arrived at the Greyhound station in Boston at 5pm. I’d had an email some days before from Gil Hurlbut. My surname is very rare - so there is a chance that we may be related. Gil is trying to trace anyone in the UK to whom he may be related, as his family originally migrated from Blighty. There are not many Hurlbuts in the UK. Gil and his wife had invited me to stay with them whilst I was in the Boston area. They live outside Boston in a little rural town. So, when I arrived in Boston I phoned and arranged to be picked up from the train station near their house.

It was very generous of them to put me up. Thank you.

Saturday the 28th Gil took me on a tour of Salem. It rained heavily all day.

Salem is a corruption of the word “shalom” meaning peace. The town is infamous for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

We started our visit in the Peabody Essex Museum. One of its highlights is the Yin Yu Tang, which is a Quing dynasty residence. It was located in SE China before it was dismantled, conserved and reassembled at the museum.

Just when we had finished in the Yin Yu Tang, the fire alarm went off. We were forced out into very heavy rain. I was still wearing my coat, but Gil had put his coat and umbrella in the cloakroom. So he got soaked. When we got back into the museum it turned out to be a false alarm.

After the museum we went to the House of the Seven Gables, which is New England’s oldest mansion. It was built in 1668 and is famous as the setting for a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

On Sunday we drove into Boston and walked the Freedom Trail.

The Freedom Trail is a red line marked on the side walk of down town Boston. The Freedom Trail in Boston visits the gathering places of the patriots, the incubators of revolution and the buildings where American resistance to the British was born.

If you look at the photos of Boston on this blog, you will notice that I have added explanations of the importance of many of the sites on the Freedom Trail. I’m not going to repeat myself here.


On the 31st I caught the ‘Chinese’ bus to New York. The ‘Chinese’ buses between New York and Boston are very cheap. It cost only $US15 for a 4 hour trip.

The bus arrived in New York’s Chinatown at 3pm. I then walked through Manhattan towards the Port Authority bus terminal. That meant that I walked through Greenwich Village and Chelsea on the evening of Halloween. The police were closing off the streets as lots of people were arriving dressed in costume.

I had pre-booked a hotel
Salt lake City Union Pacific Depot.Salt lake City Union Pacific Depot.Salt lake City Union Pacific Depot.

This railway station is now the Gateway Shopping Mall
across the Hudson River in Weehawken. When I arrived at the bus station I found that there was a 45 minute delay for traffic through the Lincoln tunnel.

So, I killed some time until later in the evening before catching a bus to my hotel.

The next day I visited the obvious tourist sites in New York - the Statue of Liberty, Times Square etc.

On the second of November I went to the Guggenheim Museum but it was closed, so I walked across the road into Central Park. Later that day I took a tour of the United Nations building.


The next day on the 3rd I took the bus to Washington DC. On the 4th I walked around Washington DC visiting the main sites down town, you can see photos of some of them in this blog.


Then on Sunday 5th of November I took a bus to Philadelphia. All the hotels in the city centre were full because of a major convention. So, I was forced to get a hotel near the airport which cost me $US75.

The next day I walked around the main
Green Dragon Pub, Boston Freedom TrailGreen Dragon Pub, Boston Freedom TrailGreen Dragon Pub, Boston Freedom Trail

The Green Dragon calls itself the "Headquarters of the Revolution". Its where the revolutionaries planned their actions against the British over a few pints of beer.
tourist sites in the town. Again there are photos with explanatory captions on this blog.


On the 7th of November I took a bus back to New York. At lunch time I met up Cecilia, a woman I had met on the Antarctic tour earlier this year. I spent an enjoyable afternoon in her company. She was (I think) the only African American on the Antarctic cruise ship.

Finally on Wednesday 8th I flew out of the States from JFK.

I loved the USA, its diversity, its huge size and its peoples - who are as diverse as the country is huge.

Additional photos below
Photos: 73, Displayed: 32


Old State House, Boston Freedom TrailOld State House, Boston Freedom Trail
Old State House, Boston Freedom Trail

"Here the child Independence was born". Built in 1713 it is the oldest public building in the eastern US. In front of the building is the site of the Boston Massacre which took place in March 1770, when British troops fired on a crowd of Boston citizens. The death of Crispus Attucks and 4 other Bostonians helped spark the revolution. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was read from its balcony.
Ground Zero. New YorkGround Zero. New York
Ground Zero. New York

Site of the Twin Towers as it appears in Novemember 2006

16th November 2006

Hurlbut Connection
It was a pleasure to finally meet an English Hurlbut and to discuss your travels. Any Hurlbuts out there should check in to find out if there are connections using DNA testing. See what we have sound so far at
17th November 2006

Great blog!
Did you see Salem in full Halloween splendor? Good times.
17th November 2006

There were a lot of people around because of Hallowean, but there wasn't much splendour because it was raining so hard! Stuart
26th October 2011
Hotel 17, Manhattan, New York

I am a 59 year old person from michigan and beleive it or not I use to live there when i was three years old. I have some pictures if management is interested. We moved from there when i was five years old. I actually remember playing in the park as a youngster. I am glad to see this great building is still alive. Thank you for allowing my comments.

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