Americas Night

When I arrived at the Layby I was greeted by a family that has pulled in for the fireworks, 3-4 vehicles full of parents and children that turn out here every year to watch, this seemed to me to be the epitome of American life, families gathering for Americas day, enjoying it together, they told me they had just enjoyed a hog roast hand turned by themselves over hours. The gave me water, beer, candy, and let me join them with a comfortable seat. From about 9 pm fireworks were flying all over the city. It seemed from every household. At 10.30 the main even started, with giant fireworks dwarfing the hill from which they were launched from. A brilliant light show. Made even better by the will of the locals to have fireworks going off solid till midnight.  As I had not sorted any accommodation I went a few yards down the hill from the layby, rolled out my camping pad and sleeping bag and slept, despite the noise from traffic heading home I was out like a lamp. In the morning the breakfast of champions- Mcdonalds.


The statue on the ridge line is known as ‘Our Lady Of The Rockies’.  In 79′ Bob O’Bill’s wife had cancer, he said if she recovered, he would build a life size statue of Mary in his yard. When she did recover, he kept to his word. He started building the statue with the help of fellow workers, but what happened was it caught the imagination and support of all the locals in the town. Pretty soon the staute had grown from the planned 5ft, up to 90ft, with a presiding view on the ridge line over the town. Many volunteered to help, from locals blasting the rock platform, a local concrete company sorting the base, an engineer from anaconda designing it, donations from the public, right up to the national guard 137th aviation company airlifting it. The staute was lifted piece by piece, a dangerous job to an exposed rocky ridge with high winds. In 1985 it was finished standing tall over the community whose will and generosity put it there. At night it is illuminated and can be seen for miles.

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