Yep, you heard it here first. At the Rapid City based School of Mining and Technology, there are a group of people who are build miniature flying vehicles with "AI" that are basically designed for tasks like killing Osama Bin Laden. Okay, so they haven't mounted any weapons on these babies yet (a la Terminator), but the days where the robots we invent come to kill us are just a little bit closer.
That's Mason on the far right in the future-unabomber hoodie. Mason, if you're out there and you want to put your mad scientist skills to good, let us know!
First off, we ate at the Firehouse Brewing Company and Michelle served up delicious Chicked Fried Steak for Zoo and a beef chimichanga for me. Spicy, good. I had the Beaver Brown Ale, which was soooooo good after a day on the road.
So, after some serious processing of the GPS data and time-lapse movie stuff, we split up.
Zoo went to the bar for “just one drink” and I headed out for some night photography around Rapid City.
Right off the bat, I met a friendly group of guys who wondered aloud why I was taking a photograph of an alley. Nice guys, except for the one who constantly was trying to get me to take pictures of his ass. Anyhoo, I got this awesome shot with Cowboy Jesus Christ in Art Alley.
So, I took a stroll around the block. Really, this was only one loop around the block. I totally enjoyed myself shooting at night in Rapid City. Interesting people, and a great variety of business, art and small-town emptiness. It was Sunday night, after all.
I believe there were three bridal shops in one block. Hmmm. That matches that we met two engaged gals in less than 24 hours, and were not in large crowds. But 3 bridal shops in one square block? Wow. The mannequins were awesome, though. Thanks for not moving.
There was an alley running behind the hotel, cutting the block in half that had a sign at each end labeled, “Art Alley”. There were so many tags and street art on the walls and dumpsters. Some amazing work, too. You can see the sign atop this image that was on top of our hotel.
And then there was the Brass Rail – open 2nd latest on a Sunday night. A gal came out as I was shooting, curious as to what I was doing. “Just on a road trip, taking pictures.” “OK – was just curious.” Maybe she thought I was a tweaker. In fact, there was one sleeping in the alcove just to the right (or I assume so – it seems like meth would be easy to find in Rapid City).
So, around the corner and back to the hotel for this HDR-combined shot of our hotel. That’s another story... A couple go tout of their car and asked if I was taking pictures of ghosts. LOLz.
Apparently, this hotel is famous for many things, including having presidents stay over. In fact, John McCain just rented out the whole place during Sturgis and pissed off a lot of people. I think we stayed in his room (and it smelled like dead bodies).
There is also the matter of apparently, this hotel is haunted. Alfred HItchcock stayed in one of the haunted rooms, and the Betsy, Sara and Darwin at the hotel were so helpful and fun. Sara let me into the AJ Ballroom on the second floor:
And here is what the main reception area looks like: