20 July, 2012

Day 16, 340km: Beartooth Highway

Good morning/evening readers,

Today's update will be a bit different from the others. I have been informed that the last few weeks my posts have sounded too happy to some people who wish to remain anonymous. 
Since I have a strong hatred for happy people as well, I will try to avoid sounding happy and will focus on what went wrong today, to give some comforting to the anonymous group.

Northern Yellowstone park, huge landscapes, less geothermal "stuff"
So you might remember that the reason why I ceded for the hotel in which I woke up today was that they had an all you can eat breakfast. I could smell bacon waking up in my room and that opened up my appetite. Entering the breakfast room, I was surprised that nobody asked me my room number today. They might be busy I thought, and so I took a plate and started walking along the buffet.

I'm not a morning person so it took me a while to notice that a fat, visibly angry, vaguely hispanic lady was talking to me.

Me: Hugh?
Her: Sorry, what are you doing?
Me, one hand opening the dish warmer, the other holding my empty plate: Serving myself.
Her: Sorry sir it is too late now breakfast closes at 10am
Me: Hugh, can I take something and have it in my room?
Her: No sir the dishes are empty now.
Me, looking down: Hugh
Her, generous: But you can take some juice sir.

So that's how my all you can eat orgy of a breakfast turned into a glass of cranberry juice. Great way to start the day.
(I just retyped part of the above as Chrome crashed on me - hope you like it anonymous!)

Soda Butte, last sight of Yellowstone at the northeast exist
So I didn't stay long in the hotel after that. I packed my stuff (takes a while!) carefully, avoiding the spot on the room's floor where I had a laundry accident yesterday (while doing my laundry in the washbasin I spilled half of it on myself - good news is my plant is now cleaned too).
And so I went for the last day in Yellowstone. I'm glad I did the southern part first. The northern part was mostly (nice, huge and amazing) landscapes but nothing like the hot springs and geysers, to be honest.

HW 212, Beartooth Highway
My next direction is Salt Lake City, south of Yellowstone. So exiting by the northeast corner was definitely NOT the shortest route. However it was recommended to me as one of the nicest highways in the region.

Did that with  http://www.dermandar.com/
Since I didn't have breakfast (and was starting to feel dizzy because of that plus the 2500m altitude) I thought the place above would be nice for a lunch break. My lunch usually consists of a couple hot-dog buns (cheapest form of bread) and some canned food, typically Tuna (Bumble Bee, Max!). Today I thought I would treat myself to a hot lunch.
So I took a can of chili con carne that I bought yesterday. There was no table in that spot, but I thought that el gran restaurante de la montana didn't need any table.

Of course I don't have a can opener. So I set to open it with my knife. That was dangerous, slow and awkward but eventually the can was opened. It didn't quite expect it to have the same appearance as dog food but I was hungry enough not to mind. So I setup my stove somewhere relatively level and poured the chili con carne into the pan. Or rather half of it, the other half went directly to the ground.

That was actually a bad idea to have chili con carne and then get back on the road without much of a break. The next hour of winding mountain roads (amazing by the way) were rather hard on the stomach. But I held on, I had already lost half of my lunch, there was no way I would forfeit the other half.

Even some snow on top of the pass! Altitude went around 3300m I think
The road was excellent, but a lot of traffic on it. Most of it Harley Davidson riders (like 90% of the vehicles). Most of them without any form of protecting gear (like 95% of the riders). I mean no helmets, no jackets, no gloves, nothing. Enjoying their freedom to smash their brains on the pavement at the first occasion, I guess.

Like, really a lot of bikers
Contrary to the ones I've met before in Canada, these weren't the friendliest HD riders I've seen. Maybe because most of them were travelling in groups so ... group effect, we say? Or maybe I got paranoid? Either way I didn't spend much time on break areas.

Me and my bikers buddies - does that sound real?
The photo above was I think the moment where the GPS crashed. Hanged, like a computer. No display, nothing. Had to remove the battery and put it back so it could work again. This while driving of course, so as to impress any ladies that would be driving nearby (there weren't any).

After this highway, I was back into the plains, the great plains of Wyoming. I expected it to be windy and hot, as it was 2 days ago when entering Yellowstone.

Wasn't disappointed, 35deg C
And hot it was. So much that I did the last 100km standing on the foot pegs, to catch as much air as I could. Of course my camel back was empty when I entered this road.

Like, really hot
 The night before I spotted a town where I had the intention to stop today, with a campground (there are not many in this area, actually) that accepted tents (there are less even, many RV only campgrounds). I wasn't really sure of the name of the town (since I didn't write it down...) but thought it was Powell.

Well it wasn't. I arrived there and looked for the campground, asked a few people only to find out that I was in the wrong town, and that I should be going to Greybull instead. Well I didn't. I settled for a cold shower, cold drink and immediate stop.

So here I am in Powell ... tomorrow I'm going to Salt Lake City, 760km. That'll be a long way but the last few days I didn't drive enough so I have to make up for it!

Cheers everyone,

Yes Max, I miss Battlefield 3

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jean Claude,
    I would like first to express our gratitude for your kind efforts to make us happier. Nevertheless, few more would have been appreciated... For example The "amazing by the way" was not necessary in the following sentence which would have been perfect otherwise :
    "The next hour of winding mountain roads (amazing by the way) were rather hard on the stomach".