24 Hours in The City of Bronze (USA Day 67)
No spoilers, but I’ve had a peek at the next twelve-or-so entries in this blog, and they’re looking spicy meatballs, so you’d better keep that browser locked in for good. I can’t believe what we get up to in Grand Teton! And that close encounter in Yellowstone! What an adventure. Sorry to keep the cards so close to my chest, but I can’t reveal the future before it’s happened. You’ll have to wait.
The next couple of weeks took all morning to organise, but we’ve got campsites and hosts lined up and a few off-trail days to keep things interesting. Two months of our six-month visa have elapsed, but almost halfway done in terms of miles, we can afford to explore the more exciting parts in a little more detail. Getting there really is the least of our priorities right now, not least because we aren’t yet sure where there is. In the last few weeks, it’s shifted from Los Angeles to San Diego and back. Perhaps it doesn’t matter.
Our hosts’ house is a home-made wonder. It’s got wigwams and yoga studios, ziplines and treehouses. Amy loves the hammock best. I love the two dogs, Blip and Maisie, best, although Maisie is strictly a cat since she purrs and has a cat’s face and is a cat.
After a gourmet lunch of all of our leftover ramen packets in a large bowl to make space in the bear vault for more important bear-attracting things like toothpaste (because bears always want to brush their teeth. It is known.) we trotted around Lander, enjoying its arty, boujie atmosphere. Our host, Dannine, owns a cool print shop called Snow Deep that sells custom clothing and notebooks. She’s got super into ‘Where’s Voldemort’ since checking out my book, and after trying and failing to get me, she shared one of her faves, ‘Van Cam Pan Cam’, where you spot a camper van and scream those four cursed words. The loser must proclaim “Oh, man,” or lose even more points. A definite lock for the upcoming days, where we’ll be seeing plenty of Van Cam Pan Cams honking around Yellowstone, potentially boinking us off the road. Sorry, I promised no spoilers.
In the evening, we got ourselves an oversized but not overpriced can of local beer and sat in the little park for Lander Live, a free concert put on by the local council. The headliners were a bluesy outfit from Memphis called Southern Avenue, whose excellent set gradually developed the mosh pit of children playing kiss chase into a full-on dancing crowd. We got up for a boogie, which was great fun, but not quite as good as kiss chase would have been.
There’s an art to surviving these rest days. You’ve always got a list as long as your arse of chores to complete, and you’ll never do half of them. You’ve got podcasts to edit and videos to upload, but you’ll have to accept you’ll fall behind on those. Without the dozens of miles cycling, you’re bound to feel a little low, but recognise it when it comes, if you can, and it won’t feel so glum. Don’t you dare feel nervous about the miles ahead of you. Those bits are well within your power. Now sleep well and set the alarm for early. You’ve got hills to climb.