Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I'm at the McDonald's in Gillette.  And the story continues from getting picked up at Yellowstone:

The youth adventure group counselor trainees were a bit strange, but that’s how I like my youth adventure group counselor trainees.  There were ten of these youth adventure group counselor trainees and a youth adventure group counselor trainee trainer.  I rode with four of them and the trainer.  

The trainer drove, I sat shotgun, and some girl they called “Mom” sat between us.  She chewed with her mouth open.  John, Eli, and Horwitz sat in the back.  Eli was straight ginger, and it made me nervous having my back to him.  He ate brown stuff from a plastic bag.  It was a combination of mushed up bananas, peanut butter, craisins, peanuts, and soul.  John talked for some of the trip about this bicycle fiesta tour that rides across Iowa.  I want in.  It’s after Blissfest, though.  (How do you feel about that Stuie?)  Horwitz was real quiet and looked like Moses.  He was the guy who I asked for a ride from.  He said “yes” and offered me a Laffy Taffy.  He was twenty-nine and wise beyond his years.  We were talking about Father’s Day, and he said, “Man, I’m not getting my dad shit for Father’s Day.  They have Sunday once a week, and I never get squat.”

It took us two hours to drive the sixty miles through the pass to get to Cody.  It was nighttime.  It would have been terrifying to bike through that, but it was pretty to see it from a car.  The youth adventure group counselor trainees invited me for pizza.  So we went to Pizza Hut.  Eli doesn’t eat meat and dairy together because he’s Jewish.  He ordered a jalapeño and pineapple pizza.  

We were at Pizza Hut for another two hours.  The youth adventure group counselor trainees invited me to camp with them.  So we went to the KOA.  All the males slept in one, eight person tent.  Horwitz didn’t use a sleeping bag.  He doesn’t ever bother with them.

The youth adventure group counselor trainees left at 6:30 in the morning.  I had to wake up.  They need their tent.  We parted ways and shook hands and licked faces and all that.  They offered to buy me coffee and doughnuts, but I said, “Hell, no.  I don’t fraternize with youth adventure group counselor trainees.”  So they left.

Little did the youth adventure group counselor trainees know that this particular KOA has free pancakes each morning.  This is why they are still trainees.  (I didn’t know either, until I wandered over to the arcade and saw the sign.) I feasted on the pancakes and bought some sausage and chocolate milk to go with them.  I took a shower.  I chilled in the arcade and typed on the computer.  I really took advantage of the KOA experience.  (The Cody KOA is the first KOA to come into existence.)

I asked the clerk at the KOA for direction to my next destination.  He said, “Make sure you turn on the highway towards Burlington.  It’s a good-sized town.  The turn should be marked.”

Burlington is tiny, 300 people, but it’s a good-sized town for Wyoming.  Horwitz told me that more people live in San Francisco than in Wyoming.  I like that, but none of the towns have a Wendy’s.  I’ve been jonesin’ for a Frosty.

It was a short bicycle ride to Basin, Wyoming.  I had the wind at my back and it was downhill.  I sang the whole way because I felt good being out of the cold mountains.  “The hills are alive with the sound of music…” I sang.
Upon arriving in Basin, I visited the grocery store.  I wanted to buy some vittles for the night and the next day, then I’d ride out of town and camp.  While I was in the store, though, a man and wife, Josh and Sandra, approached me and asked me about my tour.  They were thinking about taking a tour, too.  They supported the trip and thought it’d be nice to chat with me, so they offered to let me pitch my tent in their backyard. 

They had a cookout that night.  They invited the parents (it was the parent’s house) and the neighbors over, and we all ate elk kebabs and drank beer.

The youth adventure group counselor trainees and Josh and Sandra gave me their contact information.  They told me to let them know how the trip went.  Also, they said that they’d offer assistance if I get into any trouble out west.  Josh’s dad, Lyle, said he’d drive as far as the Black Hills to help me out.  So that’s nice.

I left in the morning.  Josh and Lyle gave me advice on the next few days of the journey.  They gave me a shortcut to Ten Sleep, and they told me not to take the low road around the Big Horn Mountains.  The road was dirt, and it would be flooded from snowmelt.  That meant that I needed to go over the mountains.


  1. hell yes, take the mountains. You can't see jack from the low road.

    My bike arrived safely in Michigan yesterday. I make my first trip to the Soo this weekend since...I'm not sure of the last time I was in the Soo.


  2. Robbie - I want to buy you dinner. If you can pick a restaurant and ask them if they can call me or I call them I would be happy to pay for your meal. A hearty meal - steak and potatoes or something like that. I will text you my cell phone later today - momster pam