let's just jump in, k? k. i left the house at 2:30 am to catch the shuttle to seatac. from seatac, i flew to salt lake city. (that flight was horrible. i had thought about telling you about it but, ugh, whatever who gives a shit it's over now bah.) anyway, in order to get to the slc airport, you have to fly over the great salt lake.
it was weird because there's no wind? so there were no waves on the lake which meant that the clouds were reflected perfectly in the water. just...eerie. i had a hard time telling if we were still in the clouds or descending.
but let's put utah weirdness aside and concentrate on the bozeman, montana airport. i have not flown domestically in years, right? i have been dealing with international airports instead. big honking beasts of buildings. yeeeah, get a look at bozeman.
i laughed when i deplaned. i mean, it looks like a hotel lobby? id even k.
what i also don't even k is how i managed to set off an alarm that caused some doors to slam behind me on my way out of the boarding area. "DO NOT ENTER!! ATTENTION! DO NOT ENTER!" announcements screaming, lights flashflashflashing, the whole nine yards. but fuck it. i just looked bored by the whole thing, pulled out my phone and kept walking because i had done nothing wrong and i was NOT ABOUT TO BE DETAINED IN BOZEMAN COLORADO, RIGHT? right.
i mean, they have a freaking dinosaur skull at their baggage claim. what the hell IS this place?
speaking of bones, this was just....on the sidewalk.
my dad and step mom were all blase about it and ignored my "do you not see this FUCKING BONE on the sidewalk?" mainly because they couldn't find where they had parked the car. but that is another story.
we had lunch at a coop near this really awesome sign. doesn't this picture look like it was from about 40 years ago? THE 1970S! I WAS THERE! JUST LAST WEEK!
one of my main goals of this trip was to finally see yellowstone so we booked it out of montana hardly stopping until we got to west yellowstone. which is, apparently a tourist trap of a town and not, um, the western part of yellowstone park as i had previously thought.
i took a picture of THE GUSHER which sells pizza sandwiches while i was waiting on ma famille to buy some jam at the grocery roundup.
no, i don't really know what that last sentence means either BUT IT HAPPENED!
a few miles outside of tacky town is REAL YELLOWSTONE! the park is INSANE and also insanely beautiful. here is the first place where we stopped.
i am not sure what the area is called (sorry!) but padre assured me that buffalo did, indeed, roam through here. and he was right! there was some buffalo shit on the ground. (he was not amused by my pointing it out so i did not further antagonize him by doing a buffalo stance. OR DID I? (no, i didn't.))
from there it was on to the geyers and mud pots! have i ever told you how much i LOVE all things volcanic? no? I LOVE ALL THINGS VOLCANIC!! here is the first view that i had of some geyser activity. (i screamed like a little girl and clapped my hands, i am so ridiculous.)
but not really? because how can you be alive and NOT be thrilled by this sort of stuff?
especially when there are GORGEOUS and strangely creepy colorful springs like this one?
i was so happy here. even with the waves of sulfur from the nearby mudpots. even with the threat of a thunderstorm. so. very. happy.
but then some guy came up to me and was all "do you think i could dive into this pool?"
me: sigh...only if you're irretrievably stupid.
some guy: maybe i am!
me: *eyerolling, walking off * well, you have that going for you. enjoy.
some guy to his friend: she just called me stupid.
some guy's friend: well, you are.
stalking off to the mudpots was fine though. they were all belchy and bubbling and mad scientist sounding.
and this area with the hissing seems like it was a movie set. it was just really hard to not feel as if i were in a magnificently bonkers hollywood production of "hell: the steam and the fury" or whatserfuckit.
so! sosososososo! the grand prismatic spring. i have been having nightmares about the grand prismatic spring ever since i was tiny. i had never been here but this place captures the imagination, right?
yes it does! you are lying to me if you tell me that you do not find this landscape just straight up captivating. and if you had been the first person to find it, i'll bet that you would have been freaked RIGHT the fuck out. 'cause, what? a rather swift stream with coppery waterfalls and STEAM AND SULFUR and HOLY SHIT IT IS SO AWESOME!
the thunderstorm that had been threatening at the mud pots started to blow through at the grand prismatic spring. it was one of the weirdest things i've experienced in a long time. hothot steam would blow over you with the stench of sulfur and then the wind would change direction and super cool air and a wall of rain would smack you in the face. the extremes in temperature were such that it made you catch your breath and make you wonder if you were smart to be up on an exposed hill in the middle of a storm like this. (i would not have left for anything.)
oh hey! here is photo documentation of my dad setting a trend. he was the first person to stand on the bench so he could take a picture of the grand prismatic. after him, everyone did it. apparently, this sort of "do whatever until someone calls you on it or the cops show up" is genetic.
the ground at this spring looked very much like post modern painting. abstraction! it is there in your national park!
my little plastic deer was too.
i will not lie to you. due to the nightmares, i had been somewhat dreading this spring. it was worth it though as it is so insanely, bizarrely beautiful. FEAR CONQUERED! I DID NOT DIE AT THE GRAND PRISMATIC SPRING!
also, embiggen those panos if you like. much better viewing that way.
ha! a hipster lost his hat. which, fine, TRUCKER HATS ARE SO SIX YEARS AGO, HIPSTER! GOD!
our last stop at yellowstone was old faithful. this turned out to be rather anticlimactic since 1) it had been raining like a whole zoo full of cats and dogs (check out the gutters!)
2) we had missed the previous eruption by about five minutes and would have to wait another 40 to see ol' faithful there 'splode.
so i made the executive decision to head out. i will go back soon and take leff with me. it will be great!
we will also maybe go there when it is not so crowded.
so, ONWARD! toward wyoming! toward this moose!
toward grand fucking teton! GOD THESE MOUNTAINS ARE SO AWESOME!!
for srs. this was taken BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD! PLEASE TO EMBIGGEN! because those clouds with that bit of sun were all phwar!
i do not really remember a lot of the rest of the driving that day.(so. very. tired.) i just know that we stopped here to get gasoline and milk. but not together because, what? blargh!
i recall that these red stripey monolithic rock things were rather impressive.
and that i saw a rainbow.
oh yeah, AND THAT MY DAD'S MUSIC WAS SO LOUD THAT I HAD TO WEAR HEADPHONES AND TURN MY PLAYER UP FULL BLAST JUST TO KEEP FROM GOING DEAF. my ears were ringing by the time we got to the hotel.
speaking of the hotel , it was one of those travel lodges where the door just opened onto the street. the room still had a KEY and not a keycard? idk, i am a freak about security so i shoved a chair under the door handle and didn't really sleep. (it was a safe place. just, like i said, i am a freak about having layers and layers of security. let's not go into it.) anyway, the phone was like this when i got there. (ARGH! WHAT IS UP WITH THE FORMATTING ON THIS! ARGH! )
and turner classic movies was available so it was not a terrible night even if i did not really sleep.
TOMORROW! wyoming ---> colorado (again). i do not really understand why we took this route but I WAS NOT DRIVING because i am not licensed to do so. YOU SHOULD ALL BE GRATEFUL FOR THAT FACT!