Bring your own fork

August 31, 2003 - Sunday

 Jellystone

I’m calling this entry Jellystone because Beth thinks it’s a Yogi Bear world…

So I’m back from Yellowstone and I’m beat like a big dog. The plans that were subject to change… changed. I followed the plan right up ’til Gardiner, then I didn’t stop, I pushed on through to Bozeman so I wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel room there when I already had one here. I logged 320 miles today, 10 hours getting to and from and roaming around in Yellowstone, and took 200+ pictures. 172 of them survived the inital cut and eventually I’ll put together a slideshow that I’ll link to from here.

I don’t have Photoshop on this laptop, so I’m making do with a shareware image editor so I can post a few pix for your viewing pleasure tonight.

Ranger Jeanne, who granted me entrance to the park.

There’s a bit of wildlife in Yellowstone.

Duck, it’s ducks!

One of Yellowstone’s many geysers.

A scene out of Dances With Wolves. Those dots are buffalo grazing.

The road is where the buffalo roam and when they roam, you wait.

That’s it for now. I have to get to bed; I have an early date with Beartooth Highway tomorrow. I sense another 300 mile day in my future.

Oh, and the town named for me, Atkins? I blinked and missed it. When the odometer said I was there, the only Atkins there was me.


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 Go Time

I’m outta here.


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August 30, 2003 - Saturday

 Hotel Hijinks

I was just over in the hotel business center printing out all the Mapquest directions for my route. Their computer was having a few problems, so I cleared the cache and did some other minor tweaks to it so it would stop crashing on me. As I was leaving, I performed an “upgrade” — I set one of the moose pictures as the desktop.

Yes, I know: dead silence from you people. I don’t care, I think that moose stuff is some funny shit. At least I’m cracking me up.


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 The Route

I’m ready to ride. I went shopping today and picked up some riding/anti-freezing gear:

1 fleece pullover
1 windbreaker
1 pair lace-up ankle-high workboots
1 bandana for noggin coverage
1 pair deerskin leather gloves

Total cost: $43.75. (I’m a cheap bastard, aren’t I?)

Here’s the route as of 6:17 pm MST. (It is subject to change right up ’til Go time.)

Bozeman to Atkins Hey, they’ve got a town with my last name here. I have to check it out, see how my people are doing.

Atkins to West entrance to Yellowstone Park This route, Gallatin Canyon, is supposed to one of the most beautiful drives in Montana. Apparently much of A River Runs Through It was filmed here.

Enter Yellowstone (map) from there, angle south to see Old Faithful, skirt Yellowstone Lake heading north to Tower Junction, then angle northwest to exit the park at the north entrance to spend the night in Gardiner. Monday morning go back into the park at the north entrance, go east through the Lamar Valley section to exit the northeast entrance.

It’s Yellowstone National Park. Need I say more?

Then ride Beartooth Highway, stopping frequently to enjoy the scenery, to its end in Red Lodge, MT. Charles Kurault says it’s “the most beautiful drive in America.” I’m going to make sure.

Red Lodge to Bozeman, where I’ll collapse into bed … after downloading all the pictures to my laptop and maybe posting a few here.

(Depending on Yellowstone traffic and its bear-crossing gridlock, I may skip the overnight in Gardiner and instead return to my hotel here in Bozeman for the night, then ride back down to Gardiner in the morning to resume the route. The cheapest rate I can find in Gardiner is $90 and since it’s only 1.5 hours north to Bozeman I’ll probably do that if I can be out of the park before sunset.)

Day 1: 215 miles
Day 2: 277 miles
Total travel: 492 miles

It’s going to be great.


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 3 Day Weekend

I wrapped up the conversion part of my time here in Bozeman around 3:00 this afternoon and now have three days all to myself stretching out ahead of me. That plan about renting a Harley and checking out Big Sky country from the open-air point of view is looking pretty solid. There’s a Road King with my name on it reserved for me Sunday and Monday; now all I have to do is figure out where to go on it.

At this point I’m thinking I might go check out Yellowstone on Sunday, spend the night in Cody, WY, take my time riding Beartooth Highway Monday morning, and then make my way back to Bozeman by nightfall. Total mileage: about 450 miles. Elapsed time: who knows? I’ll be stopping to take pictures from time to time, so there’s no saying how long. This will be a classic biker touring trip: it’s about the journey, not the destination.

There are a few fuzzy points in the plan. For example, what am I going to wear? I didn’t pack my leather motorcycle jacket, I didn’t even pack a windbreaker. A helmet comes with the rental, but aside from that all I have is jeans and T-shirts. I’m thinking I may need to pick up a cheap lined flannel shirt or something tomorrow so I don’t freeze going over Beartooth Highway. Oh yeah, and leather gloves at Home Depot. Then I don’t know where I’ll sleep Sunday night. I’m thinking I might stay in Cody, WY, but that really depends on A) where I decide to exit Yellowstone and B) whether or not I’ll be able to find a room. Reservations might be hard to come by on Labor Day Weekend. Flexibility will be key.

I think this sounds pretty cool and doable. I may need to take Tuesday off to recover. It’s going to be fun.


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August 29, 2003 - Friday

 Yet Even More Moose Hijinks

In the server room, where the on-air computers are feeding the broadcast signals, Todd the Moose tries to take Bozeman off the air.

Scott heroically risks his life to keep Bozeman on the air and attacks the marauding moose, ripping its head off!


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 Digital Wasteland

I feel disconnected from the world out here. I can’t get reception on either my cell phone or my pager. During the day Beth can’t reach me and I can’t reach her except through email, which means we’re not checking in with each other a few times a day as we normally do.

On the bright side, my office can’t bug me either except through email and I don’t have to open their messages until I have time for them. Like next Wednesday, maybe.


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August 28, 2003 - Thursday

 More Moose Hijinks

I’ve come to realize that the dearth of lol-type comments on the “Self Amoosement” entry isn’t because you didn’t think it was funny, it’s because you were laughing so hard you couldn’t type straight. So here’s some more mooseness:

Scott models next Spring’s fashion for the Moose On The Go

Iiiiiiit’s Action Moose!


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 Spicy

I feel kind of bad for not being more sensitive about it, but I just didn’t know that Gavin misses the Spice Girls.


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 Come On!!!

Are you people made of stone? Those moose pictures were fucking HILARIOUS! They were comedy gold! Not one of you could post a comment saying, at the very least, “Ha”?

Fine. See if I ever wear goofy costumes for you again.


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