We're home! Just a few things I worked on during the long ride home. First up, a YouTube video of our adventures that I edited on the plane. It's less two minutes long and features Joel and me dancing like idiots.
(I will post a flickr slideshow of all the nature photographs tomorrow.)
Second, an entry I wrote during the flight...
Joel and I decided to rent bikes one day and ride out through the National Elk Refuge. Sounds simple and easy enough, no? Um, did you forget whose blog you're reading? :) The man at the sporting goods rental place was super enthusiastic about getting our credit card number.... and then he disappeared "in the back" for about ten minutes. The other employees were miffed when we were like, "Um, what? Should we just... pick out bikes?"
And then I revealed my Nature Girl prowess by PUTTING THE BIKE HELMET ON BACKWARDS, like HELLO, just kill me now. I had to ask how to lower the seat, and I thought the guy was going to piss his pants laughing when I asked about a kick stand. Oh, I'm sorry, I guess I missed the Universal Badass Outdoorswoman Seminar.
Grr. Anyway, we were Determined! To have! The Fun! After a wobbly ride through town, we reached the elk refuge trail. And we did have The Fun. It was hard, at first, particularly because of the high altitude, but also because I haven't properly ridden a bike since, oh, the day I got my driver's license? Also, pedaling through suburbia for a Slushey and biking around a National Park are not the same thing.
We ended up doing ten miles total. We each carried 18 pounds of camera gear and wouldn't you know it? We didn't take a single picture. At that point, most of the elk had migrated north out of the preserve. We had a little picnic and all was idyllic until I laid my head in Joel's lap to look up at the puffy clouds. When we got up to ride back, Joel lovingly pointed out that I had been laying on top of an anthill. I now have ten special red bumps on my lower back where my sweatshirt must have ridden up. Their names are Larry, Moe, Jack, Curly, Shemp, Itchy, Scratchy, President Bartlett, Zoe and Bobo the Clown.
We also went skiing, and as much as I'd like to keep you all hunched over at your desks snorting coffee out of your noses, I had an amazing day. I couldn't believe it. I used to ski when I was 12, just as an intermediate. I had a really bad experience where I got in over my head on an icy hill at Ski Roundtop. It was an ABC After-School Special type experience where I learned a Very Important Lesson about peer pressure and not relying on Rinny Gogers' judgment and advice. After Kim Hope died in similar circumstances a few years later, I never got back out there.
Until Saturday. I spent six hours with a thorough instructor named Chris at Teton Village. By the end of the day, he had me skiing on three different runs, turning, stopping, shushing, using poles and best of all, consistently getting off the ski lift without making a total ass out of myself. By far, one of the best days of the trip, of 2007 so far.
Tomorrow it's back to the usual bump and grind.