Friday, June 3, 2011

Arrival in Yellowstone

I'm in the arcade at the Cody, Wyoming KOA. They have a Tekken machine.

The blog post timeline is a little behind compared to the bike trip timeline.  But I don't want to give you the whole story all at once. So I'll get caught up over the next few days.

Idaho Falls.  I asked the manager at the McDonald's in Idaho Falls to allow me to sleep in the lobby, but she said that wasn't going to happen.  Not wanting to mess with the rain, I decided to go to a Motel 6.  It was nice.  They were remodeling.  I had a room that smelled like hardwood floors.  My room was carpeted.

I bounced in the morning, and biked eighty miles to Island Park, a tourist boom town twenty miles outside of Yellowstone Park.  It precipitated the entire eighty miles.  That biking experience was something and will be discussed in my next post.

At about 3:00 PM, I had already reached my destination, so I stopped at a gas station to warm up before making camp.  Because of the precipitation, business was slow at the gas station.  Noreanne the gas station clerk and I chatted. She said that another bicycler had been in the gas station the day before.  He was in the gas station for nine hours waiting out a blizzard.  He had no sleeping bag or tent.  He was wearing flip flops and a sweater.  And he was on his way to Yellowstone.  That's about all Noranne knew about the biker.  He from Spain and didn't speak much English.  I'm telling you this story so that you can see how well off I am on this bike trip.  Not only do I know English, I'd say that I'm fluent.  If you're going to worry about someone, worry about that Spaniard who is somewhere off in the wilderness right now, probably trying unsucessfully to scare away bears and park rangers with his flowery latinate speech.

Noranne and I talked about the bears.  She said they were angry this time of year, hungry and hunted.

We watched the five o'clock news.  The weather looked good for Wednesday.  It was Monday.

Thinking about the bears and the poor weather and the expensive lodging in Island Park, I felt like I was in a pickle.  Also, biking eight miles probably gave me a pickle like saltiness and a vinegary smell.

Noranne said I could probably stay at the gas station.  I'd have to wait for Bryan the manager to arrive at seven so that I could ask him.  When Bryan showed up, he said it'd be twenty five bucks to stay there.  That sounded good, cheaper than bear mace.  Noranne's shift was over, so she left me with Bryan.  When she said goodbye, she gave me her monthly pass to get into Yellowstone.  Nice lady.

Bryan was a nice guy, too.  Dude was a talker.  He talked at me for the next two hours as I was trying to break away to go to bed.  He was fluent in Laos-inese because he did a mission in Laos.  Missions in Hawaii and Vietnam, too.  After college, he managed the largest wildlife reserve on the west coast.  Idaho has the most amount of millionaires per capita than any other state.  Lots of money in seed potatoes.  Bryan wrote a math book when he was a freshman in college.  His dad was a math professor at BYU.  Years ago, they bought seats in the BYU basketball arena.  He wishes that he had gone to see Jimmer Freddette.  Bryan played college ball.  Liked to talk smack.  Played high school football, too, the quarterback.  They played a private school that recruited Samoans for the the defensive line.  Bryan asked: Have you ever had a 300 pound, angry Samoan come at you?  Bryan says it's terrifying.  Bryan said some other stuff, too.

The next day, I arrived at Old Faithful at about 2:30 PM.  I don't know if it was the biking or the elevation or the talking to Bryan that tuckered me out.  But I was tuckered.  I chilled on the benches in front of Old Faithful for three hours.  I saw it go off twice.  I felt super American.  Then I took a nap on the gravel beside the visitor center, waiting for Stu's friend Rachel to arrive from grocery shopping in Bozeman.

1 comment:

  1. thanks Rob - it is so important to hear from you!