Thursday, March 4, 2010

Yellowstone Part II- Mechanical Prowess

Friday, June 27th. I woke up in the morning to find Josh assembling his newest toy- a hammock. Josh had gotten the idea that sleeping in a hammock might be easier to set up and more comfortable to sleep in. So, we all had gone out and he purchased a cheap one and a tarp for overhead water protection. Frankly, I thought the idea was retarded. But, I have to give it to the boy it worked shockingly well.

Today was Katie's last full day with us (therefore our last day of rest) so wanted to make the most of it. We stopped at a local diner and got back to exploring Yellowstone! The day prior we had explored the southern portion of the park, so today we decided to head North toward Mammoth Hot Springs. Overall Yellowstone is just gorgeous. No matter where you look. Everything is just pristine. And I think a large part of the appeal is the variety in scenery. For example, heading north you head down these winding roads spotted with waterfalls. Or you'll turn a bend in the road and find beautiful snow capped mountains..

... Or these. We were just driving down the road when we came across huge slabs of rock jutting out of the ground. So we pulled over to take a look/check em out/take some photos. Josh started climbing all over them like a baby chimpanzee. We scampered up after him. I bet Josh he couldn't climb to the highest stones. And honestly to God I didn't think he'd be able to. Damn that boy is nimble. And cancerously tan.

But lets continue. We made it down to Mammoth Hot Springs shortly after our detour. I figured they'd be much like the name implied- large hot springs. But I honestly can't tell you. The springs were at or around a spa/hotel and the three of us weren't about pay to be allowed access to hot springs during the heat of the day mid Summer. Fuck that. So we left fairly disappointed.

The way back we saw Bear #3 for the trip... seriously. Enough with the bears!

The day was getting late and out tummies were rumbling and we decided to head back to town. While driving, Katie's brakes started making a horrendous squealing. We pulled over and inspected and nothing was blatantly wrong. We were on the other hand driving over a gravel road. We thought perhaps a stone had gotten lodged up in the wheel and was stuck. We drove in reverse a couple feet and the theoretical stone popped lose and the noise ceased. Talk about mechanical skillz, yo.

But, another five minutes down the road and the concerningly loud squealing came back. We decided to stop by the tire center from the day prior to see if they could assist. When we got there the place was sadly closed. We had drove a few miles, and it seemed the noise was not going to fix itself (not even in reverse!) I didn't feel comfortable letting Katie drive the car in this condition, and she obviously wasn't fond of the idea. Josh thought we should take the tire off and inspect. I was highly against the idea since none of us actually had any mechanical skills. But, he talked us into it. We poked around and inspected. Nothing blatantly visible. Josh was hoping to go further and take the breaks off but we vetoed that idea. It was getting late fast, the sun was setting and we needed a solid solution. A tow truck was called.

When the tow truck arrived we had him take a look- he also had no solution for poor Katie. We got the car up on the bed and realized we had a problem... there were two passenger seats and three of us. It was dark already and it was about a 8 mile walk back to camp. The towman wasn't thrilled with the idea of all of us piling in but a Jackson changed his mind. He had to go back to the campsite anyway to let Katie pick up her tent and clothes. She packed up everything she needed and left for better lands with better auto care. We were both sad to see her go.

I can't thank you enough Katie.. Yellowstone would had never been as amazing without you. You're kindness and friendship won't be forgotten. Thank you Katie!

Trip Summary
Day's mileage- 0.0 (Day off, 4th day of rest)
Total mileage- 901.58