“I want to live, I want to give.
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.” -Neil Young Heart of Gold
Where to next? We really wanting to go to a national park. We decided on either Yosemite or Yellowstone. The only problem with Yosemite was that it was so far away from where we were. We’d be driving so damn far and that we would have to drive back up to Denver. After a quick debate about time and money, Yellowstone it was!
By this time I had been gone for 3 weeks. Every day after my girlfriend left, we never had a pleasant conversation on the phone. When she got back she immediately got a job. First job she applied for and got it. Some luck! But since she now had a job and I was just driving around lost, she had this condescending tone to her. And I guess it was because I had no idea when or if I was returning. Part of me was jealous that she found a job so quick and part of me didn’t understand why she couldn’t of gotten that type of job out West with me. It left me frustrated about the situation. I could quickly see we were leading separate lives.
After a quick stop in Chelan we went on to Missoula, Montana. I have family there and they offered up some beds for us to sleep in for a night. Seeing family was refreshing. Earlier that week it was my birthday and I snuck that under the radar. I’m not really that big of a partier on birthdays. Not really sure why. But I share the same birthday with a cousin in Montana and she just had her first birthday. They had a party planned for her that Sunday, which just happened to be the day Jon and I showed up. They had a cake for her and a cake for me. And they prepared a huge dinner. So this was actually my first home cooked meal since I left home. And to sleep in a bed too! Oh it was awesome since beds have been rare on this trip.
The next morning we were on our way to Yellowstone. We left Missoula fairly early, so we had most of the day to enjoy the park. When got there we decided to check out Old Faithful first and then drive around the west side of the park. We had just missed the last eruption of the geyser, so we had to wait another 30 minutes or so. The crowd started getting bigger and bigger. Anticipation and expeditions were boiling too. Everyone had cameras armed and ready. Time seemed to tick away slowly. Any minute now, any minute now. Gasps started as initial signs of activity began. And then….water and steam shot up. After maybe 3 seconds I realized this was one of the biggest let downs of my life. The geological side of it is incredible, but visually it was uneventful. Well that was a waste of time, haha!
We drove around stopping at many animal sightings and sweet sceneries. All the while, Neil Young’s greatest hits was on constant repeat in the car.
Before we left Missoula, my family recommended a place to stay near Yellowstone. The place was called Chico Hot Springs. It was a resort type of place with a hot springs pool. I booked us the cheapest room, since our funds were shrinking. After spending the day at the park, we made our way to the resort. My gps took us from road to dirt road. Well maybe dirt road was a generous word. I really didn’t think it was going to lead us anywhere. What seemed like forever, I really thought my car was going to get stuck or some crazy guy was gonna come off his farm and blow our heads of for driving near his house, we finally made it.
The place actually looked really nice. We got the key to our room. When we opened the door to it, we just died laughing. It was the smallest hotel room I have ever seen. The twin bed, yes I said twin bed haha, took up most of the room. Basically enough floor space for us to put our bags down. The bathroom was down the hall. A community bathroom. We enjoyed the hot springs pool for a minute. Not really impressed by it. I think we thought it would be a natural pool, not an actual swimming pool. We grabbed some dinner at the hotel restaurant and called it a night. Both of us were tired from the busy day and I’m sure we just wanted to get the night over with being in such a tiny bed together.
Trying to keep to my side of the bed, I had a miserable nights sleep. We took off before they served the free breakfast. We didn’t even want to stick around for free food, haha! That night a light snow covered Yellowstone. So seeing the other half like this was unique for us. This was at the end of may, back home we’d be in shorts and t shirts and sweating our balls off if we stayed outside longer than a few minutes. So it was weird to be this cold that far into the year.
And just south of Yellowstone are the Grand Tetons. That park is a lot smaller, so to drive through it just took a few hours. It was really cool to see the Tetons because that’s where I could have been living then. Seeing the beauty of it almost made we wished I had accepted the job, even if it wasn’t a desirable position. But who knows, maybe I made the right decision.
So after a short visit to the Tetons, we made our way back to Denver. It was close to midnight by the time we got back. I dropped Jon off at his brother’s place and I went back to Corey’s. I was beat and exhausted. It was a week and a half since I had been in Denver. Just before passing out, I thought, what the hell I am gonna do now?