« on: April 21, 2003, 05:55 PM »
Road Trip #2
Me and my College Buddy and his Girlfriend drove out to Bozeman, Montana to visit another College Buddy who was working at Montana State for the summer. We piled all of our pop and crap into a big cooler and left to pick up the girlfriend at the hospital she worked at. The first turn we went around a cooler we had loaded all of our beverages and meat into flipped over and spilled icey water all over the back seat. Luckily for me I got to ride in the front seat most of the way! We hit a huge skunk somewhere in North Dakota which wasn't too cool but it wasn't too bad either. We drove through the night and made it Bozeman at around noon.
I will always remember dawn in the Badlands of North Dakota, while coming over some Large Hills and seeing the sun illuminate the terrain while a thunderstorm approached from the west. I was driving so I was the only one awake
The first day we kind of just screwed around in town and went to the local watering hole and sampled some of the fine Montana micro brews (inlcuding Moose Drool which was awesome). It is kind of a strange town with many super liberals Greenpeace types and super conservative Rancher types which clash often. It borders some really awesome mountains though which was part of the reason we went
The next day we climbed a mountain, Hyalite Peak. It wasn't difficult at all, but it was a very long hike and having come from Flatland it was rather taxing altitude wise. I think the peak was around 10,300 ft and we started around 7000 and total was around 15 miles round trip. It was an awesome feeling to hit the top though. Sitting there and looking around 360 degrees and seeing nothing higher and huge valleys below. The sense of accomplishment and awe at Mother Nature was really moving. There is a little book that you sign at the top.
My buddy also had alterior motives and proposed to his girlfriend at the summit while me and buddy #2 were walking around the other side. They are having a baby next month so things have went well for them (they are featured in Road Trip #3 stay tuned) The return hike was hell though, we all had blisters and a touch of altitude sickness. We almost got caught in storm too but we made it down. We drove into town and went to Applebees which was having all you can eat Riblet day. Lets jsut say there were lots of Riblets eaten. That was one of the most memorable days of my life!
The next day we drove from Bozeman back to Yellowstone and camped there. I had been there when I was around 10, this time around though I really appreciated it a ton more. The wildlife, the scenery, the natural wonders and geysers and hot springs. I cannot recommend a vacation destination any more than Yellowstone. It truly is the most awesome place in America. The night we camped it reached a balmy 20 F and we froze our behinds off.
On the way back to Bozeman to drop buddy #1 off we swam in a hot springs river. The shoes I was wearing (very sharp rocks in the rivers out there) still smell like sulfur (they are my lawn mowing shoes). The water temp ranged from around 40 F in one spot to close to 150+ F just inches away. Really neat...
The return trip was uneventful, me and my now engaged buddy had some really cool talks in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere Montana about ETs, Religion, Science, our Lives, my girlfriend at the time (which I was close to breaking up with which is a totally different story)
Every road trip I have been on includes some life changing moments, this one featured my buddy getting engaged, my first peak climb, returning to Yellowstone and cementing some awesome memories with some life long pals.