Posted by: athike2011 | July 15, 2011

Day Three–Jackson, WY

What a day. I guess there is no better place to start than the beginning. I mentioned last night that I planned on going for a hike in the morning. I also mentioned my brake problems. First thing this morning I called all around town to get quotes and see who could do the job. First place I called was Firestone, who had the best price, but couldn’t do it until 4pm on Friday. The idea of hanging around Bozeman until then and then spending my birthday waiting for a brake job was unappealing to say the least. The frustrating part is that I am quite capable when it comes to cars, but all of my tools are in WA, not to mention the lack of a garage, or even driveway of my own to work in, and if I screw something up it leaves me in a bad place. Everywhere else I called had an outrageous price tag of around $250, which was not happening. I decided to head to the parts shop and get a price on the pad and a rotor and just do it myself. At $80 after tax combine, and only another $10 for the socket set I needed, I decided this was the way to go.

After pulling the wheel off the cheap socket wrench popped apart while trying to get the very tight bolts off. I swapped it out for a new one and was in the process of jumping on it to try and get the bolt to move when a guy drove by and asked what I was doing. He kindly stopped and pulled out his full tool box and let me use all his stuff to get the pads and rotor swapped out in 25 minutes. Who knows how long I would have been there without his kindness. I thanked him and said I would offer to buy him a beer, but as it was 10:30 in the morning, it was probably a little early. He laughed, got in his car and drove off.

I made it to the trailhead by noon, and was pleasantly surprised, as I was getting a late start, that the trail was only 3 miles, so 6 round trip, apparently I need practice reading guides. Sierra ran back and forth through the woods the entire way up, stopping to say hi to many new friends along the way. We arrived at the lake and sat to eat lunch while watching a father teach his son to fly fish. A girl I passed on the way up who looked a bit younger than me came over to where we were sitting. Having noticed my hat earlier she asked if I was a Sharks fan. Turns out her family is from the south bay and they have a cabin out this way. We chatted for a bit and she offered to take a picture of Sierra and me before we headed back down.


About halfway down the trail Sierra made another group of friends. Two middle aged couples greeted me as I caught up, having already become acquainted with Sierra, they introduced themselves. They asked about my tattoos, and what I was doing out in Montana, the Appalachian Trail also came up, as it turns out they are from the south. Northern Alabama to be exact. I mentioned that being one of the places I wanted to check out in my travels. They immediately told me to take their phone number as they have two 26 year olds who are really into caving and would love to show me around. They also stressed the point that I would have to stay with them so they could feed me at least one hot meal. Sounds to me like Alabama just became “on the way” to Massachusetts.

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From the trail I headed to Yellowstone. Highway 191, which would take me to West Yellowstone, happens to pass right by Big Sky, MT. Big Sky is where I blew my knee out a few winters ago while working and riding there. Never having seen it in summer, I decided a detour was in order.

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These are the two places I lived. The first is the townhouse Sean and I ended up renting, and the second is the MISERABLE employee housing.

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The first picture is the bar next to employee housing where Sean and I spent many nights. Next is the mountain that took my knee.

Beyond Big Sky was Yellowstone. I have been before, and though it is beautiful, it is so over run with tourists (myself included) it loses something. The way I’ve found to overcome that while on a short visit is to simply hop over retaining walls, or fences, etc to find a cooler, better picture from an angle no one else got.

There is a place in Jackson I camped out before, and my hope is to find that again tonight. It’s 11:30 and I’m borrowing McDonalds WIFI, so if I’m not successful, I’ll likely just come back to a parking lot in the area and call it an evening.

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  1. Successful day and wonderful pictures! Thanks for sharing them.
    Hope you enjoy your quiet biirhtday with Sierra and Dan tomorrow.

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