We’re still behind on the blog chronology, three nights behind after this blog. I’m at a campground in Buffalo, WY. I’m eating ice cream. So here’s what happened at Old Faithful:
I woke up from my nap on the visitor center gravel. A fellow biker was walking towards me. He was haggard and bearded and crazy-looking. He said, “Where are you headed?” I said, “Michigan. Where you headed?” He said, “Alaska.” I said, “Oh, where did you start?” He said, “Argentina.” I said, “Hot damn.” He said, “Where are you staying tonight?” I said, “I have a friend that works here. I’m staying with her.” He nodded and walked away. Talkative fellow.
If I were biking solo for that long, I would go crazy. I need someone to unload my thoughts on. I’m already talking to myself like a homeless person, and we’re starting to hang out in the same places. I saw a homeless man at McDonald’s in Idaho Falls cashing out on the free refills, scratching himself, talking to himself. I could vibe with that, except I don’t have bugs in my clothing, yet. Well, maybe you don’t have to be homeless for that. Also, he may have been wearing an itchy wool sweater.
Eventually, Rachel showed up from her grocery shopping in Bozeman. There’s a whole dorm room life culture for the workers at Old Faithful… like in Dirty Dancing. We went back to Rachel’s dorm and I met her roommate and some of her friends and we all played Euchre… like in Dirty Dancing.
The next day Rachel and I woke up real early to drive her friend back to north Yellowstone, and then we drove around and did touristy things. Saw some mud holes and geysers and other earthy, watery, lava-y land formations.
Rachel’s dope. She’s a poet, talks a lot about food. She bought me lunch at the fancypants Old Faithful Inn. We had smoked Gouda and roasted red pepper soup. Goodness gracious. And we had elk sausage. She left for work as a waitress at the Inn, and I walked around looking at more land formation stuff.
I bounced the next morning. I had to bike through Craig’s Pass. Craig had a snowy pass that day. It was gross. I made it to the east side of Yellowstone. The problem with trying to exit on that side was that I had to go through Sylvan Pass. Turns out, Sylvan had a pretty snowy pass, too. The rangers had been closing it during the day time, fearing that snowmelt would cause avalanches. So I had to wait until early morning to bike through the pass, or I had to bike the pass after 8 pm when it opened. The latter option sounded too dangerous and the former sounded too cold.
So I figured that I could bike to the road block then hitchhike through the pass. So I waited in a café in little town near the pass then biked to the pass at around 7PM. I got there. There was a line-up of cars waiting to pass the pass. The first people I asked for a ride hooked me up. I rode in a caravan: a truck and an SUV. The vehicles were filled with youth adventure group counselor trainees. They were about my age. We got down.