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Presenter : Ian Wright

The American Rockies

Traveller Ian Wright’s explores the Rocky Mountain States of South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Steeped in myths and legends of Native Indians and cowboys, Ian setsIan Wrights sets out to find out how the West was really wonout on a journey to find out how the West was really won.

Ian begins his journey in the Badlands of South Dakota – learning the history and culture of the Lakota Indianson the Pine Ridge Reservation. After staying a night in a teepee, Ian heads for the Black Hills, where 60 million years of erosion have created a honeycomb of tunnels and caves. Ian goes potholing with experienced caver Stan, exploring the endless caverns that make up the Wind Caves.

Ian’s next stop is the Indian holy mountain of Bear Butte. This is the place where the Sioux gather to pray and pay homage to the spirits.

From Bear Butte, Ian travels north to the town of Deadwood near the border with Wyoming. Deadwood was once a wealthy gold mining town, but now the main source of income is the gaming parlours along the main street. Ian tries his hand at poker and hears stories about the legends of the ‘Wild West’ from one of the local cowboys.

Teepees at Pine Ridge Reservation, Badlands, South DakotaJust outside Deadwood, Ian joins cowboy Dave at the Dude Ranch and tries the local delicacy – bull calf gonads – euphemistically known as Rocky Mountain Oysters.

On next leg of Ian’s journey he drives through Montana to Jackson Hole. He dons his leathers, joins a group of Harley Davidson bikers and hits the open road to take in more of the spectacular scenery the region offers.

En route to Jackson Hole, Ian stops off at the historic site of Little Bighorn where General Custer fell to the Sioux Indians. Arriving in Jackson Hole, Ian goes gliding over the Teton Mountains. He hooks up with a local who takes him to the world famous Yellowstone National Park and Whitefish for a few quick lessons in the art of snowboarding.

image: american rockies plainsAt the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho Ian witnesses an authentic Pow wow – a spectacular song and dance ceremony performed by the Nez Perce to honour their culture and to worship the land.

The final leg of the journey takes Ian to the untouched wilderness of the Glacier National Park where he negotiates the white water rapids of the Salmon River.

Places Mentioned - USA

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