It seems these last few nights we’ve had some odd occurrences. In Fort Peck, a blaring horn woke my dad and I up around 3AM, and it seemed to go on for minutes. In Little Big Horn, strong blasts of wind went on all night, causing our tent to slap us in the face. Last night (or early this morning) it poured rain at our camp site.
The best part about today’s ride was the rainbow just outside the Black Hills. This was the brightest, most intense rainbow I think I’ve ever seen.
Other than that, our day was very tiresome. When faced with cold, heat, wind, and a long ride in thick traffic, everyone is on edge.
This is the last campsite I will be posting from, in Buena Vista CO. Our campsite is lovely, and there is a good view.
Lightning flashes before me. No literally, there is a huge storm a couple of miles away and I can see it from this picnic table.
Day 6 wasn’t too eventful. In Terry, Montana we had a basic breakfast at Dizzy’s Dinner. Two eggs, hashbowns and toast.
The most significant part of today was Little Big Horn. Let me give you a summary: people died and they’re buried all over a hill. There were Indians, gold, and government involved. This dude Custar died there, and some women put sticks in his corpse so he can hear better in the after life. I wonder if they had a good laugh.
Dinner was pizza and ice cream. I can’t complain.
Yesterday (Day 5) we made it to Canada. The journey there was long and filled with rolling plains of green and gold. You could see hundreds of bails of hay speckling the fields in the distance. It was a sharp contrast to mountains and dessert shubs, but I still found myself drifting into boredom. While we were riding I felt enlightening in the thought that I could think about whatever I want. It was like a sudden concentrated dose of freedom. No one can intrude or control my thoughts unless I let them. I can do whatever I want in my mind.
When we made it to Canada the border police let us take pictures in no-mans land (Canadian and US soil)
We did it.
At the end of the day we celebrated with sparkling cider in Styrofoam cups.
But the journey is not over.
I just finished a pack of Gushers, so I guess you could say I’m ready to review my day.
After a quick cup of soupy oatmeal at McDonalds, we worked on making our way to Gillette for a piece of pie. The strawberry rhubarb was sweet and tart, topped with what I think was homemade ice cream. But my most interesting experience in Gillette, Wyoming was my journey to the restroom. I had to walk through the kitchen and down to the basement, where the owner sat slumped in her chair smoking a cigarette, barely giving me a glance.
On our way to Devil’s Tower I fantasized about different possible futures and tried to imagine myself living in these small towns. The closer we got to the tower, the more motorcycles we saw. When Chuck told me he flips off all the riders who don’t wave back, I laughed. It’s called Devil’s Tower because it looks like the rock was clawed into its shape. Looking at it, I wondered why so many people felt compelled to go out and see this rock.
Next up was Mt. Rushmore. We made it to the Black Hills (coolest name for mountains ever btw) and eventually into Keystone after seeing a waterfall and a lake. This town had spirit. Being in a place bustling with tourist and strange shops made me feel awake.
I was vamped to see Mt. Rushmore, but it was later in the day, and you couldn’t see the presidents as well in a camera. Too many attempts at making our heads look like they were a part of the monument made me tired and ready to eat and end my day.
I’m sitting on a bench smacking mosquitoes outside my tent in Big Timber, Montana. My bug bite count is up to 16. It’s late and I’m tired in so many ways, but today was far too eventful not to write about.
After eating breakfast in Jackson we made our way to Yellowstone. The view through the Grand Tetons was like riding through a painting, so beautiful they might not be real. The lake was easily the biggest I’ve ever seen, which doesn’t say much really. My eyes were glued wide open to the landscape, unable to look away from mother nature’s glory.
Yellowstone was incredible from the start, but crowded with people from around the world. Each turn off was bumper to bumper with tourist. Despite that, the drive through was worth the $20 (even if I didn’t pay it).
After a few more hours we made it to our campsite where the bathrooms were broke and there were lots of mosquitoes. Now I’m tired-and grumpy.
I didn’t know what to expect on today’s ride. I lied. My expectation was nothing. Desolate plains that roll on for miles. Instead I learned that you can’t judge a mountain by its foothills. What may start out as dry shrubbery can quickly turn into green trees dotted with lakes. We spotted some tiny waterfalls near the bottom of the Flaming Gorge. I tried to picture myself climbing up the little steps near the water.
The moment the first gust of wind hit me, I knew what we were in for. I laughed out loud to my helmet, imagining myself struggling to stay up right against an invisible barrier.
I played a game called How Many Animals Can I Spot (that aren’t cows), until we reached the mountains. I was eager to absorb every inch of beauty I could see. Moving along beside us was the river. Cold and clear.
Early this morning we passed by a worn down billboard with half covered graffiti that said “you are the cosmos” I wanted to meet the person who climbed up to that sign quickly spraying each letter you are the cosmos” . I wanted to crawl inside their mind and explore their universe, the unknown depths of their mind. While we were wondering across the desert I thought of every part of my body. One moving organism among billions. One human among billions. One planet among billions. Everything expanding.
We met a Belgian couple in Utah at Dead Horse Point. My mind drifted to the horses who plummeted to their death rather that being captured. Were they cosmos? Would I do the same? We discussed beer and chocolate and traveling. I wondered about their universes, expanding.
The red rocks made me think of the devil clawing through the earth, reaching for the sky. His jagged body hot and rough, deteriorating. 90. 94. 101. 103. You can’t feel the sweat on your body when the wind never stops.
Finally the day comes to an end. I could feel myself melt. Sticky and ready to shower.
My dad said the whole point of posting everyday was to do it even when you don’t want to. That’s easy to say when you have an actual laptop.
Today we saw lots of interesting sights including: a crop duster, the Mexico/Arizona boarder, two copper mines, a deer, mountain sheep, elk, an arrow tree, and a meadow.
While on our ride today I learned a few things. One is that the motorcycle can be like a cradle. The sway and hum of the bike rock me into a terrible half awake/half asleep daze. It’s supper scary, because if I drifted to far, I’d fall off the bike. Two, people are a lot like mines (This observation probably isn’t new). If you dig enough, you can find a gem. Sometimes this digging leaves the earth scarred.
Alright that’s all I’m feeling for now. I’ll be back tomorrow.