Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Why did we massacre the Indians for this shit land, anyway?!"

Why, oh why, Wyoming?!

Well, this morning did not start off on a good note.  After prepping for a 5 hour driving day, Google informed us that, instead, we had almost 10 glorious hours of travel time from Mt. Rushmore to Yellowstone National Park. Kill us.

A few CD’s and many cows later, we entered Wyoming and couldn’t resist a spur-of-the-moment photo shoot on the (wide) open highway.

After mailing a few post cards and small gifts at a local post office, we really managed to piss off Clarice, the GPS, by hopping on the highway where she didn’t want us to.  A solid 15 minutes later, we were right back to where we started and, this time followed her directions.  For the first time EVER, C saw Jess in a bad mood, until we stopped for coffee, naturally.

And then the day went from bad to absolutely horrible.  We thought the road sign in Shoshone National Park was kidding when it warned motorcycles of the mud and snow (yes, snow) on the roads.  Needless to say, the joke was on us, and Casper’s pearly white paint was mud stained as the temperature dropped an impressive 50 degrees from the bottom of the mountain to the peak.  Making the best of the situation, we took some awesome shots of Grand Teton and the rest of the Teton Range as we approached Grand Teton National Park.

Jackson Hole temporarily lifted our spirits, until darkness fell and we were forced to drive through the treacherous Teton Pass in the mountains, crossing from Wyoming to Idaho to get to our … um… hotel.  White-knuckled Christine managed to keep Casper on the road as we maneuvered 90-degree turns on a 10% grade path. 

Finally reaching flat ground, we crossed back from Idaho to Wyoming onto Ski Hill Road… freaking Ski Hill Road.  Clarice informed us that we had reached our destination as we parked, in pitch black, next to a one-way dirt path that drove down into hell (cut to next scene where Jack the Ripper appears and kills us all.)  After we both panicked, C was on the verge of tears and J nearly lost her dinner, we called Lisa, who, thankfully, was able to Google the phone number for our hotel.  We chatted up Christina, the front desk attendant at the lodge, who informed us that the hotel has no signage, there are no road signs to help us identify the path and there are no other buildings near the hotel….

The winding, 90-degree turns continued, until we finally reached what turned out to be a ski lodge at the top of the mountain, where we found a winter wonderland.  Post check-in, we discovered that our frigid room didn’t have the heat on and that we were two hours outside of Yellowstone, our next “day trip” destination.  Here, Christine saw Jess in a bad mood for the second time in her life L  After perfecting our tag-team wine bottle opening skills, we were too tired and depressed to grab cups from the cooler.  Thankfully, we’re not documenting this entire trip.

The next morning, we ate breakfast as our friendly server, Terry, gave us some sightseeing tips for Yellowstone, after informing us that, at 8:30am, we were already “late” for the trip we had planned.  Shortly after, we got on the road and headed toward the West Yellowstone entrance.  First stop: Firehole Falls.

Firehole Falls
We climbed that!

Two words: absolutely. AMAZING.   We hiked (well, more like rock climbed) all the way down until we were eye-level with the waterfall.  After the sight took our breath away (well, I’m sure the hike probably helped with that too…) we snapped a zillion pictures as an audience gathered to see “those crazy girls” who had climbed down.  Back on flat land, we continued to explore the park, seeing bison, a moose, elk and pelicans.  Old Faithful, true to name, went off as expected.

Leaving Yellowstone, we further explored Grand Teton National Park, as we got closer to the mountains on a scenic drive around Yellowstone and Jenny Lakes.  Even more south, we explored the city of Jackson and grabbed dinner at a local tavern. Unfortunately, we forgot our cowboy boots and, thus, didn’t venture into the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.  Tear.

Bracing ourselves, we again conquered the Teton Pass, this time with J at the wheel, back to our temporary home in the mountains.  After some wine to calm our nerves, we proceeded to pass out, but, of course, not before seeing the thrilling end to Wild Wild West.

Tomorrow we’ll pass through state #9 of the trip as we arrive in Glacier National Park in Montana after a long day of driving.  See you soon!

Memorable quotes:

J:  “Why did we massacre the Indians over this shit land, anyway?!”

C: “What are things that are white?”
J: “Paper. Snow. A GHOST!”

C: “How does that happen? What is this doing here?  What is that car waiting for?”
J: “I don’t know. It’s like ‘oh, hey, you forgot your Taurus here.”

J: “…you sound SO ignorant right now…”

J: “it looks a lot better. You even can’t tell there’s grease in there.”

Store clerk: “Can I see your ID?  Can I see your ID? … Did I just ask you that twice?”

J: “it’s a literal roaring fire.”
C: (puts up hands as claws)  “rawr.”

1 comment:

  1. Jess in a bad mood: You've clearly never seen her single-handedly tackle a mount of weeks-old dishes in the sink.

    Clarice: Does your GPS resemble Julianne Moore circa 1995?

    That amazing photo of Christine doing a cartwheel: Hey! As the originator of the cartwheel-in-an-amazing-place photo (see recent Facebook posts), I think I have copyrights or something. Pay up.

    Hope your breaks are still intact and you're remembering to go down steep grades in first gear so you don't burn them up.

    Please get me a cowboy hat from Wyoming. Or just the cowboy.