The Open Road

I love the open road.  In some ways, as a person trying to be good and green, I feel guilty about it, but I love it enough that they’d pretty much have to pry my steering wheel from my cold, dead hands.  Not that I’m planning on rolling my car again any time soon, though.  I’ve already done that once, ten years ago out in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and while I walked away from the car I totaled in that wreck, I don’t want to tempt fate. 

I can and do conserve in other ways, so I hope that at least begins to make up for it.  And I do have a car that gets very good gas mileage (I can, and have, driven from here to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, well over 300 miles, on less than ten gallons of gas), so at least that’s something, I say as I rationalize away. 

Anyway, the reason this has come up is that I am going back to Yellowstone in May!  I didn’t get to go anywhere last year, for a lot of reasons, except for an overnight trip down to the Oregon coast, so this is my longest car trip in almost two years.  It’s about 800 miles one way, and I usually do that in a day and a half. 

My friend L and I got to talking after we got back from a nursery run on Monday, and she brought up the fact that we’d been talking about going to the park this summer for a while.  She’s never been, and I wanted to show her around.  So I got on Xanterra’s website (the concessioner for lodgings in the park), and discovered that the only availability left on any of the cabins at Old Faithful is the first week they’re open for the season.  So we snagged one for four nights. 

I will be very glad to get back to “my” park (I have two, you know [g] — Mt. Rainier and Yellowstone), and I will be very glad, too, to get out on the highway.  There is nothing better than being between places, neither here nor there, out on our own in the wide open spaces — and there’s an awful lot of wide open spaces in eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana.  The steady climb to the tops of the passes, the big swooping curves coming down, the miles and miles between towns and the forest and the timberline and the lakes and the dusty prairie.  Horizons shrinking to almost nothing and growing to cover half the world.  

And we’re going to see the geysers!  Well, and the hot springs and the fumaroles and the mudpots.  And the bison and the elk, and hopefully the wolves.  And the canyon and the lake and the rest of the scenery.  But I love geysers.  With a passion.  And I’ll get to show them to L!

Ye godlings, I can’t wait.  Of all the things I inherited from my father, I think the one I’m the most grateful for is my terrible case of wanderlust.  I hope I am never cured.