The road less travelled

The road less travelled

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

VIP's

Word came down through channels that some VIP's where on their way to do a drop in inspection. Since I have spent 27 years in the military, I didn't think a whole lot about it. Lisa on the other hand started making lists. Menus. Activities. And of course what needed to be cleaned. So time schedules where established. Countdowns where created. All in all she was organized and ready for the big day. But as with all inspections, the Inspectors throw a monkey wrench into the mix. They decide to show up two days earlier than expected. Now we are in scramble mode. I told Lisa that the best way I can help her is to stay out of the way. Which I am very good at doing.

Who are we expecting you might ask? Well it was some of the consultants that we worked with when purchasing our new home. They notified us that they would be passing through this side of the United States and would like to drop in. The people I am talking about are the infamous Jim and Barb from jimandbarbsrvadventure.blogspot.com. Semi-professional fisher people and world travelers.

They befriended us in Florida two years ago(we don't know why, we don't like people) and have crossed paths several times now. Every time has been a hoot and a holler. Some people you just click with and some, not so much.

So they arrived last Thursday and breaking all taboo's and traditions, they cooked us dinner, even though they were the ones traveling. They grilled some Halibut and Salmon that they caught themselves with their very own hands and it was deliciously yummy. I am not a big fish eater because most fish taste fishy, but they did a marvelous job of preparing those slimy critters. After dinner we spent time catching up with our lives over the past 5 months since we had seen each other last. Giggles were abundant and finally the cool night air made us say our good nights. The next day and a half they were on their own to sight see, because we still had to work.

We worked a half day on Saturday so a "Happy Hour" was planned and dinner was scheduled. Hamburgers, potatoes and corn on the cob was enjoyed by all. Laughing till we almost sharted around a campfire. The next days plans were made. We were going to attack Mount Washburn.

Sunday, we awoke, our hearts were gay with anticipation of reaching the summit and then descending for a round of ice cream cones and hotdogs. The hike is 2.6 and 3.0 miles depending on what direction you start at. We were going to start on one side and hike across the summit and down the other side, since we had two vehicles. It was a nice hike. The views were spoiled a little because of the smoke from the fires. We were able to see a small herd of bighorn sheep up close and personal. They were right next to the trail and they sensed that we meant them no harm.

After the hike it was a race to the store for ice cream and hotdogs. We earned that treat and it was greatly appreciated. With our gullets satisfied we decided it was nap time, cuz we are old, and the next meal was planned. We would meet later for dinner of Mexican sandwiches. So another night of good food, good company and many laughs ensued.

We decided that the hike took a lot out of us so we planned a slower day. A drive into Gardiner to find huckleberry margaritas and pizza. I don't know if it was the huckleberry's or the half glass of tequila that the bartender put in each drink that made us decide that we needed food now. So off to the pizza parlour for some pizza pies. Again delicious. We drove back to Tower and again naps where in order. Once re-juvenated it was a nice night for a fire, since we all had wood. Lisa made a scrumptious shrimp dip that was gobbled up by everyone. The yawns came out and it was time again to say good night.

Jim and Barb were leaving in the morning. Daisy came over to say goodbye to Moose and Journey. Moose loves Daisy, Journey, I don't think so. Hugs all around. There was a Sasquatch sighting and they were gone. Our farewell cry was "See you in Florida!"


Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Couple of Firsts

We are not risk takers by any means. We don't have that constant need to push the envelope, that need for adrenaline. Nope. We like to go through life at a comfortable pace, and what we feel is a comfortable distance from danger.  Why tempt the fates? Eventually the cards may be stacked against you. That is why we avoid big cities, with all the random violence and we never have the urge to kiss a severed toe. Speaking of severed appendages. It is a good thing John Wayne Bobbitt doesn't have a bar. Guess what people would be lined up to kiss. Just saying.

Sometimes life, no matter how well you prepare to avoid risky situations, will test your metal anyways. My first example is this:

Living in Bear country for this length of time. Living in bear country in general. We have all heard about bear maulings of tourists. Yellowstone has Grizzlies. I really don't care to see one. But from day one since we have been here, we have seen black bears. There is a mother and a couple of cubs that live in this area and also a couple of males. We would almost see them every day going to and from our campground to the store. One male got to about 50 feet from our fifth wheel one day. Other people have seen them walk behind our camper when we were at work. So where ever we go we carry our bear spray. Even just sitting outside enjoying a cocktail around a fire. I would feel more comfortable packing my shotgun, but the rangers frown upon that.

Another example:

Having a badger 10 feet from your door. It looked like it was digging a den. It was just hunting uinta ground squirrels. But we didn't know. I went to the ranger station and they just told me to watch it. It will probably move on. Yeah, I will watch it, behind the sites of my shotgun. I know the can says bear spray, but will it work on badgers? I sometimes feel like Paul Blart from Mall Cop. With nothing to defend yourself but a radio.

Another example:

Living near a wildfire. The worst thing about living close to all these wildfires is the lack of communication here. We have no TV, no radio stations, our internet is horrible. Everyday we drive out to the fire to see its progress. We even fueled up the vehicles just in case the word comes down to evacuate, we want to be ready. If the wind is right we get little flakes of ash raining down on us.

On a different note about the wildfires is that during the day, there is so much smoke in the air, we get this orange filtered sunlight. Kind of eerie and end of days look about the sky. At night the moon is so orange it is unbelievably beautiful. I wish I had a camera that could capture it. We drove to a spot to view the fire after work last night and seeing the flames at night was amazing. Again it was a sight you don't often see. It was beautiful in its own right but also sad to see that much forest being destroyed.

Hopefully we get the rain that is in the forecast for here. But with the rain comes lightening which has started all the fires. It is so dry.

"Happy trails to you, until we meet again"-Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Stranded!

Our little adventure started the previous week. We went to Bozeman Montana to fill a prescription of mine. (No, it was not Viagra.) Montana only recognizes a prescription for 1 year, Minnesota writes them for two. So under Montana law they could not re-fill them. That is why we went to Cody Wyoming then the next weekend, because Wyoming does recognize a two year prescription.

So we planned our day. Got up early and started the two and a half hour drive to Cody. Picked up my prescriptions which only cost 2 dollars and then went to the Buffalo Bill Museum of the West. That place was huge and has the largest gun collection in the states. It was awesome. There are 5 separate wings and we only got through 4 when we said that we had had enough. So back to Wally World to stock up on our groceries. With that done we left Cody, missed our turn for the Chief Joseph Highway. We went about 25 miles and turned around and we where heading back to Cody when Lil' Blue pooped her pants and died.

It turned out to be a blessing that we went on the wrong road, because if we would have been on the Chief Joseph Highway, we would of had zero cell service. So we called our road side service, gave them our info. The lady on the phone didn't quite understand where we were. At least the tow truck driver called us after going to where the road side service lady told him we where and he eventually found us. It took about 45 minutes which wasn't too bad. So we took the ride of shame back to Cody. Lisa called all the rental car companies in town and there where no cars available till the next day. I guess we are staying the night.

When we started this job, we were not given any contact information. Not even the stores phone number. We tried calling the ranger stations, but they did not have the numbers. Luckily Lisa had her tablet with and going through some old e-mails found a number for the HR dept. She called and left a message and they called back a little while later. We told them our situation and they would try to get a hold of our boss or the store. That was all we could do. CYA. Next problem, lodging.

The driver drops the Jeep off at their shop and offers to drive us to the other end of town to find a motel room. First stop was the Super 8. Not fancy but it will do for the night. No rooms. Really? It's Monday for gosh sakes. The next one in line was called "A Wyoming Inn". A little mom and pop type of motel that you would think would cost about $50.00 a night. They have one or two rooms left so we grab one at the low, low cost of 180 fricking dollars. Seriously. What else could we do, being stranded and what not. At least the rooms where clean.

So we stuff our groceries that we got out of the Jeep, the ones that needed refrigeration into the little fridge in the room and take the mile walk back to Wally World to buy pajamas for Lisa, toothpaste, tooth brushes, phone chargers and underpants. Basically stuff we already own. And of course alcohol. We called Kendra and asked if she would check on the cats and  thankfully she said she would. Good thing because when she got there, they where out of food. Poor critters.

Next morning we have to be out of our room by 10. They told us the Jeep would maybe be ready by 5. Kendra said she could pick us up around 7 if the Jeep wasn't ready. So what are we supposed to do in the mean time. I said that we should bring our big bag of groceries and our new bag of stuff we bought last night and put it in the Jeep until Kendra can get us. So we start the 4 mile hike across town, lugging our possessions with us like street people. As luck would have it, we where about a half mile from the garage and they called and said that the Jeep was fixed. YAY! So we payed, threw everything in the Jeep and end of story.

Not quite. Two and a half hour drive back home. We got home about 3:30. Our shift would have been 7:30 to 5:30. What's the point of going in now for 2 hours. But our boss saw our Jeep out front and sends one of the managers over and asks us to work. So we go in at 4:30 after grabbing something to eat and end up working until 9:30. We were pretty exhausted.

Somethings just make you wonder. Now end of story.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Viewing More Than Just the Wildlife

Four weeks left of our job here in Yellowstone. We have pretty much seen everything that we wanted to see here and working 5 days a week keeps us busy. So now our attentions have kind of turned to people watching. How can you not when there are hundreds or maybe thousands of people a week that go through the store.

Fashions are all over the spectrum because of the mix of Europeans, Asians, Indians(people from India) and of course Americans.

Starting with Americans. People are dressed like cowboys because we are out west. You have Amish people. Back packers (who stink by the way, depending on how long they have been in the back country). Harley people in more leather than a cow would wear. Women wearing spandex leggings that shouldn't be. I mean if it is stretched so far that it is almost see through, maybe you shouldn't wear it.

Tattoos. I find it interesting to see the variety of tattoos people have and where they put them. I just sit and wonder sometimes why they would put large angel wings on their backs or have stuff all over their chests. One young woman had on short shorts and around her thigh was a tattooed gun belt with a tattooed pistol in it. Things that make you go hmmmm?

Let me tell you about the young women and I don't know how to say this with out sounding like a dirty old man. Young women are really dressing scantally. Like wearing those small little volleyball shorts. Lisa will say to me, "Did you see the girl with her vagina hanging out? Or ass cheeks hanging out". The tank tops that are cut on the side from their armpits to their waist. That's a lot of side boob. I am not complaining by the way.

The other day this woman comes up to my counter to purchase something. She has this purse that is clipped to the front of her low rise jeans. So the weight of the purse is pulling down on the front of her jeans. All I can say is that it was a good thing she shaves. It was almost a beaver sighting if you know what I mean. Quite distracting.

Then also the other day some young blonde attractive women bicyclists come into the store and of course they come to my register. They have on these tight little bicycle shorts on. After they left I said to Lisa "I didn't know the Swedish bicycle camel toe team was in town?" She said that every guy in the store noticed them. I only share this because it looks obvious to me that they want to be noticed. So notice them I did.

Men in bike shorts. Lisa is still having nightmares about that.

Like people with funky colored hair. Sorry if I am staring at your ridiculous hair color, but that is what you want. Get back to the circus! Goth people really stick out in a National Park. Is it really cool wearing all that black in a National Park on a hot and sunny day? Doesn't the sun beating down on all those piercings start to heat them up?

Asian people really don't like the sun. They are covered from head to toe. They usually have the funkiest hats I have ever seen. The brims are about 3 times the size of anything out there.

Many people really don't think they smell. I am talking about serious body odor. Takes your breath away when you happen to be inhaling as they walk by.

On a positive note, we have over come most of the language barriers. That is because our charades skills have greatly improved.

Like I opened with this post. 4 more weeks left!