Bears and Old Faithful
VROOOM VROOMM WAHH WAHHHHH!!!, I wake up early in the morning, glance over and there is Nolan grinning from ear to ear, the sunlight barely coming through the window.“Wakey wakey.” My alarm was set to Motorcycle by the open window. Strained eyes and barely functioning body I manage to get up. The trip and the altitude has set in on my body and mind. Pushing through I get up and Nolan is cursing around the ranch on his British Triumph 1972 Daytona he bought when he was 19, With his daughter and Baby Mama back then KI bought it and has had it ever since. With a crazy story comes some sweet truth from this Gentle friend of mine. This is a cherished Motorcycle full of memories and dreams, plus it is bad ass. Vroom Vroom I get up and follow the noise out to the back there Nolan is with helmet and his usual big smile and laugh. He knows I am digging it.
We are off to Yellowstone park today and now that the Bike is fixed I want to try to ride it before we head out early this morning. It took awhile to get it going but I figured I am not here for long now so I better try. The Triumph is running and Nolan says” if you can start it you can ride it.” This bike you start with your feet by jumping on it to get it started, no key for this. SO there i am finally get to ride a Triumph and half asleep I go get my shoes on so I don’t slip out of my loose fitting TOMS. : OK give it a go” Nolan roots me on. One Two, Three, the stress sets in, Four my shirt becomes like a wet cloth around me getting in the way. I am tired now and how hard is this. Nolan made a small video of me doing this cause i wanted to have it within starting a bike and do something I have never done before. He eggs me on and well I don’t get it started so I don’t get to ride his treasure. It’s an older bike and /i need some basic training to learn to ride this older bike. He tells me a few pointers and he gets on and as I film him with my iPhone and you he gets it started. Surprise, surprise. I tell him to snap a few pics of me with the helmet and he gets a sweet one of me. It felt almost like the bad guys with the wrench in the A-HA- Take On ME music video. I had my shot for the day so at least I got me being humbled and my action non action shot with the helmet. Better luck next time. Nolan says he will find me a good cheaper bike I can learn on from Idaho. As he looked online there were tons selling for a good price.
He goes for one more spin around the giant Idaho block and it putters out. He runs it in and says something blew. It’s an older bike so lots of maintenance. Lucky it wasn’t me riding. i would get the blame for ruining his baby. Phew bullet dodged. He runs the bike into the shed, locks it up and we get ready to jet to Yellowstone Park. Big day ahead. I had just bought some ready made Cookies from #wowbaking. They are all over California but i have never seen the ready made refrigerated versions. nolan bakes off the batch in small sizes for out trip while I get ready and pack up for the day trip.
We talked about grabbing some food on the way but first as we are driving down the highway Nolan points out YellowStone Bear World. “ We can check it out if you want or just drive ahead.” “ Um it’s Bear World “ I joke you don’t have this anywhere else let’s go check it out. I ready my 55-250mm lens for taking photos from a distance. I expect a safari like situation coming up to the car. I saw photos with the tour bus and bears on their hind legs up for a hello. We are in a truck as they say “ Keep your windows up.” I expect the craziest experience. Well I will tell you this it was amazing to see the Deer, a moose and a Buffalo crazing and happy to just stand there as i photographed in our 5 mph crawl. I felt like we were in Jurassic Park and at any moment something would pop out right next to us. My imagination ran wild. So cool to see the bears lounging and sleeping wherever they could out of the heat. It was hard to photograph them but I was like a little kid mesmerized by the Wild Life before me.
Exiting the protected area we park out front and go inside to the petting zoo and Cub area. Tossing about and playing in the tiny waterfall system the cubs were joy to watch. Happy to prance by and let me photograph them. It was a joy to watch this youngins get their playtime.
Heading through a heavy gated area we enter the Petting Zoo full of goats, deer, chickens and ducks. I see my goat homies and say “ Goat milk!” I go right up to them and immediately start snapping there is a few people here and Some cool props for the animals to venture in for a rest. It’s a hot day and I see a chicken coming through this mini barn as I follow him with my camera he heads for the grass and under a tree. A deer resting grabs me eye in my lens. This one like most doesn’t scurry away he just lays there and as i approach he gets up and comes over to me and another guy standing there. Furry antlers and all he lets me photograph him with his diva deep in thought pose. I feel like I got something so close and detailed i would never get in the wild, what a gem. After a few moments with the animals we head out on our way.
“ I’m starving”, we end up hitting the next town Rexburg, ID where BYU is located. So for sure some grub to be had. We end up at Costa Vida. a place where it attempts Califronia Surf Mexican. Like Chipotle with surfboards. I order a baja bowl with Carne Asada and chow down. Off we go down the way and Nolan mentions a place that was in Napoleon Dynamite. Deseret Industries, a thrift store like a Goodwill back home. So many items like collectibles and funky hats and ceramics. A pair of Potato ceramic dishes, a Simon Says, an accordion with a tiny hole in it which I was join to buy but what the hell do I need it for. It had on it scratched. Made in Italy but yeah it was scratched on i wonder who would buy into it. As I am looking at the items in the glass case. I met a gentleman and his wife and he just pulled out and is purchasing an antique Bun divider from 1907. As he is talking to the employee Pop and quick look and see the embossed Pat 1907 on the with it saying Bun Divider. At first I think now way that is it. As sure enough it was. turns out he is an antique collector and has a show one a month up the Highway. I thought I had tagged his name in my Instagram but I do not see it. He wish me luck on my trip as i told him what i was doing and to come check out his Antique show if /i am ever in town again. Sweet old Man with an eye for the cool and unique. I now have seen a Bun divider human powered before the robots took over.
One stop we make is by a river. we fill up on water and i have an idea to get some footage of Nolan playing a song or two with the river in the background. I do a set up and ready the camera for a really cool video of Nolan playing a tune. I feel happy to grab these and Nolan happy to go for it. We get back on the road and finally arriving at Yellowstone National Park. I realize I am in my 5th state so now it’s 4 states of Fotos +1. Oh well I am the idea guy not totally great on the tiny details but hey it looks cool now. 4States +1. As soon as we get closer we see the sign and I can get it for my blog and for memory sake. Nolan and I wait for the family just a head of us to finish their photo op. We get our s and we are in to see the Park. We were greeted by the sweetest Lady who took our money. She was dressed in ranger gear and when she talked to us she totally caught us by surprise just who sweet she was. Thanks Ranger! We drive and look for the spot where Old Faithful is. We resort to Pre-Google Maps map reading to make sure we don’t get lost. After a couple attempts to see other geysers but put off by the long lines and limited parking we drive ahead to the main point, see Old Faithful.
The Old Faithful Inn, a giant structure is standing right before us, massive and majestic, full of flags and Parking lot is full. We park and it is evident this place is popular. I have Nolan’s cowboy hat on to protect me from the heat but inside I take the sucker off, mess my hair a bit and we look inspect this giant wooden palace. Nolan immediately wants to show me the upstairs which looks down over the whole layout. Impeccable and full of grace with the light peaking in lending that mysterious air to it. I take a few shots of the place, a couple of Nolan and myself sitting to commemorate the visit. I am thirsty and hungry again. We have about 30 minutes til Old Faithful blows. It’s set for 4:20pm and I need to get drink and a bite before the grand show. People are already gathering but the space is open and I am sure we will not have a hard time seeing it.
We pop into the Bar area for Drink and a bite. I have a hard time looking for food as it is, but I seek out again game meat. I never get to have it so again here I am looking. As my eyes deny my I finally find a Buffalo Burger and a little line below saying “ Please ask your server if you have allergy concerns” Eureka I do have concern so I am ready to get the burger wrapped in lettuce or on the plate with no frills , again. “ Have you guys made a decision?” Yes I will I order a really good a fruity drink. Again i posted the image with the ingredients on Instagram and no where to be found. Argh a flaw in tech. nah that isn’t possible. Nolan grabs a beer and we split a Buffalo burger “ Just put the bun on the side for my friend” I sum up. “ Oh do you have an allergy?” the waitress asks. “ Yeah yeah I do.” Well we have gluten free buns”, queue the music cause it’s burger time. I get to eat a burger with a bun by Old Faithful. Holy hell. I get be normal for this slice of time. Nolan chats up some girls and I search out some images to be shot. we get out food and drinks. I automatically photograph it. and I do know that I instagrammed it. But but oh well.
4:20 approaches and we shuttle ourselves around the bend but not before we could grab a cool panoramic of Nolan and myself with the sign. Looks killer and just in time for the gusher. The geyser of all geysers, the and only Old Faithful! I am amazed that on time this thing gushes. Nature is timed and exact. The water and steam rises and rise some more. i got video of it and could not believe my eyes and ears. “ WOW” is all I had. Mission accomplished.
On our way we hit the town just outside of the park. We walk into some stores to grab a Yellowstone Park shirt nolan gets a cool wolf shirt Big faced and wicked looking. I could not make u my mind. A half naked lady with a wolf, a girl next to a big rig hmm i get puzzled and almost give up. Ok i need to go custom here. I pick out a red shirt and ask the girl if there is any buffalo art. I pick through and they were nice to let me go behind the work area nd flip through the wall of art . I find my art. A group of buffaloes that really pop with the Red shirt. “ I’ve never seen anyone do that combo” she says laughing. I’m from California and artsy so of course I have to be odd.” I exclaim in my moist cheesy voice with lounge act crooked brow. We purchase out shirts and head out the foot and a torrential rain starts. White sheets of rain catch us off guard and there is Nolan happy as can be. He hops door to door before getting his car. I tippy toe awkwardly til i see his Truck backing out and hop in. The rain stops not too long after we get in the truck. Nice.
We head home and catch a bit of traffic. We stop along the way a bit but ultimately we are beat from this adventure. Nolan's buddy Sam comes over for a bit and we hang a bit watching TV and we were going to go out again to see a Monster Truck show but guess what? it did not happen. Two cowboys down for the count.