This trip has been very good to me. I've reconnected with some great people, met new ones, and have seen parts of the country that redefine "inspiring" for me. Through it all, the weather has been gorgeous and I've been hale and hearty enough to enjoy every vista.
Except for yesterday.
Before I checked out of the Days Inn in Belgrade, MT (who forgot I was there and tried calling the room at 2AM, thanks for that), I was loading up the car and barely made it back to my room in time to hit the toilet. Once I was on the road, any time I stopped to gas up or take a break, I had to risk using the restroom as well. Everything went the right direction, it just went a bit faster than expected. I'm feeling better today, just tired. It's a good thing I'm staying in the area today, just a visit to Mt. Rushmore and Badlands National Park in the itinerary.
I made it to my next stop, the Grand Gateway in Rapid City, where I'm typing this, on time. I did have to skip my hike around Devil's Tower in Wyoming, but I did get some close-up pics that gave me some ideas. I tried visiting the trading post at the foot of the Tower, pulled open the door, and saw that it had been deadbolted closed. Then I noticed the lights were off and the whole place pretty much shut down, nonetheless there I was with an open door. I tried to close the door back up, but the deployed deadbolt was acting as a wedge more than anything by then, and it just wouldn't shut. Fortunately for my good name, someone that worked there stopped by and relocked the door. He even pointed me to some choice vantage places.
The day before that, I went from Couer d'Alene, ID, home of Jimmy's Down the Street and their massive (cinnamon) buns, to Glacier National Park. That was closed for the season. I was about to turn around and continue on my way, but there were a couple older locals and the forest ranger checking out the terrain, so we talked it up for a bit. One of the locals ran the nearby hospice, the other led the Christian Motorcycle Association chapter. I didn't know there was such a thing, and now I do. The ranger had found a dead goose in the river and invited us all to walk upstream with him to investigate. We found another dead goose, this one with a couple of holes in it, a small bear den with a collection of bones in it, and watched a mysterious land rover drive by. The whole episode was made even better with the complete absence of David Caruso and a pair of shades.
I'm on track to be back in Indy Sunday, perhaps Monday. While I want the fun to never stop, I'll be glad to be back in familiar surroundings and give my car a break. Now I feel a nap coming on.