Saturday, July 25, 2009

landing on land

Well well well friends. I seem to have landed yet again, someplace warm, with a soft bed, and my feet back on the ground. I am excited for a shower, laundry, and a few days of perishable food, specifically the kind that isn’t perishing due to adequate fridgeration systems☺

Where to begin, I don’t even know. I feel like the place where I left off left so many stories untold, and here I am again, faced with the opportunity to share. I guess I should warm up at first.

So I left Bozeman and headed to Yellow Stone. It took me about an hour to reach the park. Fearing crowds, lines, and traffic, I attempted to calm myself and just flow with the park. The first stop was the boiling river. A little secret near the north part of the park where two rivers, one hot, one cold, meet and baths have been formed from rocks so that soaking is ever so delightful. This was a wonderful treat. A great opportunity to get my head back into the traveling game after a few days of city living. I spent the whole day nervous I was getting seriously ill, so I ate vegetables, meditated, and tried to be gentle with myself. A very tricky thing to do in an over populated volcano. Along one of the shorts trails I decided to venture down I met a woman named Vicky. As fate would have it, she was on her geological field study in yellow stone and was able to give me a very detailed and individual geology lesson, flavored with a little astronomy too! I am very grateful for this woman sharing so much of her time, knowledge and passion with me. I find it easiest to take in information in a one-on-one conversation.

Once I had my fill of Yellow Stone I decided to head south to the Grand Tetons hoping to find some less populated space. I ended up squatting on a camping spot with a mother and daughter duo that was on an adventure from Nevada. The daughter had spent 20 years in SF and just moved to Nevada to kick it with her mom. Needless to say we shared hours of getting to know you conversation. They took off the next day and I maintained the home land, but hit the trail. This time on bike. I did a 50 mi bike ride through the Tetons. The roads are pleasantly rolling, but I was mentally and physically out of cycling shape so it was a challenge. That evening the campground filled up again. A Swiss family who arrived late was searching for a fire to cook their banana dessert. It was a beautiful camp fire with three adorable kids playing games, eating marshmallows and shyly sharing the few words of English that they knew.

The next day I headed for the Bad Lands in South Dakota. I have fallen in love with back roads, and have begun taking my time along them. With the sunny days, comfortable window weather, and cruise control I have become quite accustomed to 10+ hours of “driving.” Driving is in parenthesis because I do plenty of stopping as well:)

I made it to Mt. Rushmore, meetting tons of people along the way, saw the site from the road (meh) and made it to a camp ground with enough time to jump into the pool (swim in body of water each day, check) and set up my tent in order to pass out from a 13+ hour driving day.

The next day I woke up and headed to the park. It was a scorching 98 degree day, and I was feeling mighty tired from my previous day’s drive. Once I finally got myself to go climb up one of the hills, I was lucky to meet two friendly Canadian travels on a similar mission, have fun without getting dehydrated. We proceeded to wander the valleys and scramble up the mountains. After a while we decided to search for submergible water and cold ice cream. Success was had. After many logistically confusions and what not I decided to hit the road to get a jump on the drive to Minneapolis the next day. I spent the night in a small park in Fort Pierre. The town right outside of the town Pierre, which is the capital of South Dakota(!) I was awoken early by the automatic sprinklers, apparently I wasn’t really in the designated camping spot. After enjoying some of my novel and waiting for my stuff to dry I hit the road with Cassidy’s house on my brain (and the pre-mentioned pate dreams). I arrived here a few hours ago and have been swimming, eating, shopping, and hanging with the family. It feels great to be in a home, to be with a family, and to be excited to see my bestie tomorrow morning!

About 1 million other things happened between then and now and tomorrow, but I can’t possibly pull them all out. Good night

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