May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
Well, I made it to Montana for the summer. The Jetta and I made our first solo 25 hour road trip. We’re pretty close these days.
Texas to Montana. My own personal Lonesome Dove.
I took off from Texas early in the morning Monday. I tried using the GPS on my iPhone, but I kept thinking it was wrong and veering off the charted course for a more scenic route. I’m so glad I did. I was so excited about the beautiful drive I discovered through central Texas that I didn’t even stop for coffee until I’d been on the road for at least 2 and a half hours.
I read somewhere that listening to music you know well will actually make you sleepy while you drive, so I had bought The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the 2 books that follow it in the series for the drive. They had me on the edge of my (driver’s) seat. Loved them. I’m probably going to have to sit in my dorm and listen for no apparent reason just because I’m too enthralled to stop.
In Fort Collins, I stayed with a girl I met last summer. She’s a college youth minister and I love her. It was such a blessing to end a 15 hour day on the road with a conversation with her. She is one of the most loving joyful people I know. I always leave her inspired to grow in my faith, love, and joy.
We had coffee the next morning, and I took off again. I made sure I got to drive through the Tetons and Yellowstone just to check them out. I’ve never been here this time of year and it was unbelievable how much snow was on the ground. My head was on a swivel checking all out…with my head phones in my ears so I could listen to my books on my computer (my ipod got stolen last week. I had to make do). I was quite the sight.
The park has had about 170% of its normal snowfall. When it melts, the river will be at a 70 year high and we’ll have to close to commercial rafting for awhile. But it’ll really be something to see and experience.
The decision to drive through the park was a smart one. On the whole 25 hours on the road, I saw white tail, pronghorn antelope, buffalo, elk, bighorn sheep and a grizzly bear. My mom taught me well how to spot wildlife (its her favorite thing) and I didn’t want to let her down. She surely appreciated my constant messages about what I’d seen.
Last night, I got all set up in my dorm. I share my room with a couple of other girls who aren’t here yet. But four of the guys and a girl were there and helped me settle in. About our dorms: we don’t have septic, only a tank that needs pumping weekly. So, showers must be short or rare. The sink doesn’t have a drain, it just empties to a bucket that must be tossed when full. We have a fridge, stove and cabinets, but they have to be shared by the whole group so can’t be overstocked. It’s gonna be quite the summer for this obsessive cook!
No phone service or internet where I’m living and I could be more excited about it. It’ll be a media detox.
I learned some lessons on the road: Books on tape, great idea. Fill up when you hit a quarter tank and save yourself the fear of running out. Don’t be scared to take the scenic route (this applies to life too). Friends are saviors; I appreciated every message I got checking on where I was, how I was doing, and even better, how I was feeling (excitement, nervousness, tired, anxious). Salads aren’t easy to eat in the car. Stick to the sandwich.
The roadtrip back with my friends will have even more lessons.
Sorry I was traveling through my travel Tuesday post. I’ll be a little sporadic this summer. But expect to see some adventure tales! I’m off to pick up the company camera from its annual cleaning and tomorrow I’ll be on the river taking pics. Can’t wait!