Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cruising over passes and sharing Yellowstone with the masses.

It's a horseabout day. I'm not covering miles, and I'll be damned if I'm not doing laundry.

I woke up and packed my junk. I rode the short distance to the next stopping area, which is a sort of mega-campground with all the amenities. I did laundry. I was disappointed that the food was cafeteria-style and expensive - so I settled for coffee and a muffin. Add one spotty banana, and the total is $5.97.

Fresh laundry; charged phone. I packed my clothes and made some fresh PBJs. I went to Old Faithful. Amazing as it is that water shoots out of the ground on the hour, my feelings were about the same as when I was nine. I knew it was worth the wait, but it didn't exactly make me marvel and wonder. It didn't make me feel small and humble in the universe. It just made me wish I could either stand closer, or not be surrounded by tourist-ducks in safari gear.

It was a great day in the park for bicycles. I crossed the Continental Divide three times. I climbed and descended and a guy gave me some Clif Bars and a can of MGD. Rad.

I got to camp sort of early, and there were other cyclists already set up. Nobody else was doing distance riding. The folks here were just exploring the park on two wheels. The charge for a site was $6. Good deal.

I'm getting a bit less social. I'm getting used to being alone. Me and the Hoopty have been mostly by ourselves since Denver. I was happy that others approached and did some talking. Toward night, a few of us sat around a fire. One younger guy and I had a lot to talk about. He was traveling around the country in a van with his friend who was somewhere else in the park. He was excited about the idea of living in a van, and in addition to saying "dude, man" he also sometimes used the word "fuckin'" as a comma. This is getting closer to my generation's casual manner of speaking, and it put me at ease. He told me that he's constantly scoping out vehicles for potential livability, and that's something I'm intimately familiar with. It's part of what I do also.

We stayed up relatively late - 11:30pm - and I reaffirmed that I'm not wild about my alcohol stove. It gets a passing grade, but I don't understand why people love these so much.

I laid awake for several cold hours. I wore warm wool socks, fleece pants, thermal long-sleeve shirt, sweat shirt, rain jacket with hood cinched over winter hat, and sleeping bag hood pulled over the whole operation. I was still cold. With a proper sleeping bag, I could have been cozy in boxers. It's something to think about. I'm thinking about it a lot.

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