Archive for August 21, 2001

Dubois, Wyoming (That’s DEW-BOYS)

August 21, 2001 Leave a comment

The town was originally called Never Sweat, Wyoming, but the postmaster general did not think that was a good name for a town, so it named it after himself. The locals rebelled by not pronouncing it “Do-Bwa” as it should have been done. And where did I learn this information? From the menu at dinner of course!! Where else can you learn stuff like that about a small tourist town in Wyoming?

For the record: They did not pay me in nickels. As a matter of fact, there are no payouts in any coinage of any kind. When you are ready to quit, you push a button on the machine and it spits out a ticket. You give this ticket to the cashier/bartender/clerk and they pay you. Plus, due to an oddball Montana gambling law, you can only put $1 and $5 bills in the machine. Sure, you can put 27 five-dollar bills in the machine at once (ok not ALL at once, but one right after the other – I seem to have a lot of wise guys reading this), but you can’t put a $10 bill in there. When the book is written on bizarre alcohol laws of the 50 states, why not include the gambling laws, too?

Last night I had dinner in Gardiner, Montana at Outlaws Pizza (everyone together now) “and Casino.” Of course, the Casino was under construction, so it was not active. The dinner was good – nothing special, but I had an entertaining chat with a young lady from Slovakia who is on a work-study visa and will be spending her school year in San Francisco. She had a California Driver’s License manual with her at all times as she has already bought a Buick Regal in which to tool around. She asked me for a ride to California in late September, but not only am I not going back that way, but the passenger seat needs to remain empty so I can get out of my car!!!

OK so now it is time for a small poll – does this thing handle polls? Should I get the door fixed in Denver or just let the thing remain shut? I have mastered the art of the “kneel on the passenger seat and bring the legs through” move to get out of the car and the “big freaking step across the console and drag the other leg across the seat” move to get in, but I was thinking perhaps as a safety issue that the door ought to be working. I am getting some funny looks from people when I get out of my car, but so far only one person has asked me what the hell I was doing.

This morning I woke up early and proceeded to get lazy for an hour or so. I finally started my car and I had a new light on the console – it was a battery light. But my car started! I referred to the manual – “the battery is not charging – the alternator belt may be loose or missing which could cause the cooling system to fail – if the light remains on, drive to the nearest safe stop and check the belt.” Well. Shit. Where is the closest mechanic? Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! I opened the hood – where the hell is this fucking belt? There is no belt obviously loose or missing . . . so I started the car again. No light!!! Don’t worry – I’ll be sure to have them check THAT in Denver. I can feel the repair bill climbing!!!

I drove up the big mountain to Mammoth Hot Springs. It’s pretty neat – plateaus of white. But those crowds again…..ick. So I moved on. I stopped for lunch at the Roosevelt Lodge – roast beef sandwich. Very good, but it got me. I was feeling a little icky for the next few hours, but I was enjoying this part of the park much more than the day before. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is very pretty. It’s not drop dead awe inspiring like the Grand Canyon (of the whole freaking world), but I had given up on awe inspiring sights in this park. There were waterfalls – I like waterfalls. There were yellow stones – hmmm . . . what a concept! There didn’t seem to be as many people in the park today as yesterday – a lot less traffic on the roads and fewer people staring at the animals.

I don’t know where the time went, but all of a sudden it was 4:30 and I was still miles from my planned stop for the evening, which was Lander, Wyoming. Although I was pretty sure I could still make it, I picked Dubois as my backup (guess where I ended up). So I began the long drive out the South exit. THIS is a GREAT drive!! You go past the lake and through forests and you can see mountains and buffalo and, well, it’s a great drive. When you exit Yellowstone, you drive directly into Grand Teton National Park. Why there are two separate parks I don’t know, but they fall under the same admission.

This park is cool! There is this one spot where you look across this lake right at the gigantic mountains and the beach is colored all sorts of incredible colors by I don’t know what and the sun is beginning to set and . . . well . . . I took pictures . . . but they don’t really capture what I am talking about. And since it is long distance to get online from here, I will not be uploading any photos tonight.

Anyway, you finally get on US 287 to go towards Dubois and Lander and this is another fantastic drive. If not for the construction (which literally delayed me 30 minutes where my car was just shut off and I was reading a book), I would have made incredible time through here. Weird thing, though. Maybe someone who is scientifically and/or automotively inclined can tell me why. My car seems to have less power in the high altitudes, but I am getting AMAZING mileage – something like 50% better than usual. Can I get an explanation, if not a witness??

So I’m driving near Dubois and it is a little before 7 and I can probably make it to Lander for 8:30 or so, so I think I ought to do this. Heck, I don’t even need to stop for gas (See above paragraph). But then I see Dubois and it rocks. Why? Because of the rocks! There are these really cool rock formations – stratified multicolor cool things – all around town. And since I had to go the bathroom, I decided to stay here. So I checked into this little motel full of log cabin units – I’m a regular Abe Lincoln!!!

Well I think just about covers it for tonight. Tomorrow night I may be near Denver – goodness knows that’s my plan . . .

Categories: Uncategorized