Yes, I'm cycling along Ruby Valley today...very nice it is too.
So, parted company with mum and dad yesterday after another fruitless session of bear-hunting in Yellowstone. Did see wolf though. But not the same as a bear. Chris has seen 6 now, it's not on. I'm not leaving the US until I've seen a live, wild bear!!
We made it to Mammoth in Yellowstone where the thermal uprisings have created lots of terraces and pools. It did involve a bit of an uphill walk though and dad gave up early and as it wasn't initially very impressive when you reached the top, mum went back down. The agreed plan was that they would drive up and meet me on the Upper Terrace Loop. I took my photos for 5 minutes and waited....and waited...waited a bit more, went and stood by the main road...and waited....about 3/4 hour later, they arrived having sat in another car park lower down, gone back to the bottom etc etc. I think tempers had been frayed.
When we got back to civilisation, we did eat a great meal of real food at a bistro...lovely. I thought that might have been it for the good food for a while but last nights was surprisingly good too.
So , we all said our goodbyes on Monday morning, me heading off into Montana, mum and dad, who knows where. It was a very good idea for them to come out in the middle of the trip, really enjoyed it, had a good rest for a few days. So off I went....then about an hour later, mum and dad came past, en route for Quake Lake, where an earthquake wiped out half a village and created a new lake, exactly 50 years ago yesterday. I was heading that way too. So we had a drink in a cafe together, said goodbye again. Then met up again about 20 minutes later. Goodbyes again. Then met up again at the Quake Lake visitor centre. They were leaving as I arrived, so more goodbyes. As I came out, 20 minutes later, they were still there - mum had some poor guy in an armlock, not letting him go until he had give her his life story. Anyhow, that was the last goodbye of the day. They are off to Jackson where they fly from tomorrow.
Along the route a posse formed of Chris and Chris and Aaron and Shaz, so we were all camped in Ennis last night and ate together at a very nice restaurant - real food again!! The RV park where we camped charged us $15 per tent to camp, which isn't too bad but isnt cheap. The RVs only pay $28 though, which take up literally 10 - 15 times as much space, hook up to the electricity, water and use up loads more resources than we do. Gits. We are definately being ripped off. Particularly as, although the facilities were there, I don't think any of us bothered with a shower. How our standards are dropping. Must remember to get back into the swing of being clean again when I get back home....
Back home...that's almost round the corner. Aargh! Culture shock ahead!!! It feels like I'm virtually finished, even though there is about 1200-1300 miles to go. In my head the Pacific is just round the next corner. I should finish early as well I think, although that doesn't account for random days off that may occur - such as going to Glacier National Park on Saturday that might happen. It's supposed to be some of the best scenery in the US, although everywhere claims that.
Roadkill is back on the agenda it seems. There wasn't any in Yellowstone - either they clear it up there or drivers are very careful and miss all the wildlife. Not so out of Yellowstone. There was a very big red smear down the road yesterday, though no animal. It must have been a big deer or bear. And there have been 3 deer today. The trucks do hoof it down the roads though, I'm not surprised the deer get squished.
I caused a bit of a diplomatic incident this morning - oops. I know, me, as if!? I was asking Aaron and Shaz how they were getting to Seattle at the end of the trip and when it became apparent that the plan of being picked up wasn't actually set in stone I joke that perhaps Shaz might like to cycle the extra 100 miles. Mmmm. Shaz is ready for the ride to end today, let alone in 18 days or whatever, so the thought she might not get a lift and my little joke about extra cycling went down like a lead balloon. I might have got away with it in an evening setting but before breakfast and before a big ride up a long hill, she wasn't happy. I made a tactical retreat and left them to their developing row. Which seemed to have lasted all morning as it seems Shaz couldn't find Aaron at the first town of the day...which was because he hadn't stopped there. And so it goes on.....Perhaps I'll cancel that interview with the Diplomatic Sevice.
We met lots of east-bounders yesterday, about 10. They had better cycle fast or they'll be snowbound before the end. One was a family of three, riding 1 bike. I don't know what they call that. The 8 year old had a small seat at the back and he had to pedal. They were sound. From California, she was a teacher, home-schooling the boy, they sold up and set off. Summer across the US, followed by winter in either Australia or New Zealand, then who knows where. Not sure I know many 8 year olds who would choose to spend 24/7 with their parents though, especially for months on end. What about his mates? There was talk about meeting his best friend in Yellowstone but it would mean hanging on for a week so it was in doubt. Poor kid. He seemed happy enough though, perhaps its just me.
I tried putting more pics up but now my phone refuses to work with WiFi so it didn't happen, so it looks like it's just going to be dry text from now on. Joy. I'll subject you to the pictures when I get back then!! So the several hundred pounds worth of phone is only useful for telling the time at the moment, as it won't play music over the speakers either. Or make calls. Oh, it does take pictures though, for now.
Right, I'm off. 50 miles to Dillon I think.