riding with the swiss
After a few cups of ranger coffee, the three of us took off to see the southwestern portion of Yellowstone. Today would only be a 40 mile day with a little hiking, and we’d be riding unloaded.
We took a bike trail to see Ojo Caliente. No one was really out there because all the older visitors don’t want to get out of their cars.
Closer shot of Ojo Caliente.
This was nearly a two mile hike to see a waterfall. On the way out, Dylan and I joked about Jerry Springer and phrases that confused Europeans, such as ‘how ya doin’. I challenged him to ask other hikers ‘how ya doin’, but he was intimidated and hated the sound of it. I just told him to throw a cowboy accent on it, like he saw in the movies, and he would have it down. Clementine just laughed at how stupid it sounded and avoided sounding like an idiot. Every time we passed someone, I greeted them with a different ‘American’ salutation: howdy, ’how ya doin’, and ‘hello there’. Really cheesy and really shitty sounding. I loved it because Dylan and Clementine hated it. They probably wanted a bear to eat me. Brian, my annoying persona, had made a come-back.
Fairy Falls was a nice little remote waterfall. It was only about a 50 foot falls, but the water was pristine. Out of sheer excitement, we kept changing Jerry Springer phrases, such as ‘you are gay, you are gay’ and ‘you suck, you suck’.
grand prismatic spring
The bike trail took us to the back of Grand Prismatic Spring, a huge, colorful spring that was littered with people. Luckily, no one was out on the bike path. To get a better view, we hiked up a hill. It was definitely worth it.
Going to Yellowstone, I had to see Old Faithful. I wasn’t that excited about it because I knew there would be thousands of people out there. And there were.
It went off every hour and a half. Dylan, Clementine, and I went and browsed the $50 sweatshirts and $10 coffee mugs that feature American names like Bob, Jason, and Ricky. I begged Clementine to buy me one.
Soon enough, the geyser exploded and I got my pictures. Ohhhhhh.
lone star geyser
Jack, my pal from Teton Village, had told me that if I wanted my own private geyser, I would have to go out to Lone Star Geyser. After seeing the people-plagued Old Faithful, I was excited to go out to see this one. The bike path was 2.6 miles, and the lot was void of any of cars. We would be the only three people out there.
We got to the geyser site and learned that the geyser goes off every 3 hours. There was a log book that informed us that the geyser had blown about 30 minutes ago. That would put us at an 8:30 PM show, giving us only 30 minutes of light to get back to camp. We decided to stay.
Dylan and Clementine gave me some French lessons while we waited under a tree in the rain. Evidently my French was really poor and it was destroying their eardrums. Sorry guys.
After a few hours of bad harmonica and even worse French, the geyser blew her top. I would have to say that Lone Star was much more impressive than Old Faithful. The eruption went on for about 15 minutes, and it later turned into a massive storm of steam. Meanwhile, the rain turned to snow. Pretty impressive.
Hot guy in steam.
stranded at old faithful
We started back towards camp on the bike path in pretty good spirits. Well, this changed quickly when it started snowing hard. The air got cold very quickly as the sun went down, and my hands started going numb. I wasn’t prepared for this, and Clementine gave me a pair of socks to place over my hands.
We were only able to get a few miles before it became too difficult to cycle. The snow was coming down hard, and it was incredibly cold. We decided to pull into the Old Faithful Lodge and beg for a ride. We tried approaching people in trucks and vans, but they drove on by. Dylan was really bothered by this. I didn’t care. I just wanted to get out of the cold.
We parked our bikes and went into the lodge. Dylan sweet talked the front desk employee, and she said she’d talk to security. We kept our fingers crossed while we walked to a fireplace in the lodge. We met a few rich folks in the lodge, and I tried to put together a good sob story. No one bit my sob story bait, but a lot of people were interested in our pathetic situation. This young girl by the name of Helen took a sincere interest in me and my phone number. She said, “Does your phone work?” Helen wanted my phone number, I think. Maybe not. Maybe she just wanted to talk about phone service. It was a really weird situation because: 1) She was 15, 2) Her grandmother was standing next to her, and 3) Dylan and Clementine were next to me smiling. She was ‘wow’d’ by our trip and said, “I should do something like that,” pointing at her stomach. I said, “Well, you can go on hikes. You have the ability to do that here.” No compliments from me. Should I have said, “No no, you look great!” That would have been odd coming from an older guy. Clementine later commented that it was pretty funny that I told the girl to just go hiking and cycling. She also made fun of my awkward situation. Helen was nice, and I enjoyed talking to her. She was one of the few in the room really interested in our trip. Thanks Helen.
Half an hour later, a security employee named Zack walked up to us and said he’d be glad to give us a ride. Our hero. We were considering sleeping in the lobby next to the fire and riding back in the morning. We were pumped to get a ride back. I talked Zack’s head off during the car ride.
The ride back was long and slow. There would have been no way we could have cycled back. Dark, cold, wet, and snowy. Clementine cooked up some spaghetti, and we crawled into our cold tents. Dylan and Clementine’s love kept them warm. My solitude kept me cold and ugly.