Tag Archives: roadtrip

Playing Yellowstone Tourist

27 Aug

Saturday morning, the 25th, we woke up with the shivers and leapt into the car to relocate to a new camp ground that was first come first serve. We arrive there at 7:30 and took the only available spot. We were sore and dirty and tired and all around not in the camping mood but never the less we did our touristic duties. We went on a hike down “Specimen ridge” which sounded promising but on account of we had to leave Yogi in the car (strict no dogs on trails rule) we only walked a couple miles and never spotted critters, though we did both have communal moments with nature.

After, we drove back down to canyon village to do a few short hikes and see the grand canyon of the Yellowstone, pretty neat. However, there is something surreal about an experience when you are behind fences and have a few dozen tourists shouting excitedly in asiatic languages all around you. The views are magnificent and the power of nature impressive but unless you have the freedom to spend some time on the trails alone, the park feels a bit like a zoo. We meandered around most of the day. Spending some time quietly sitting in the woods and trying to summon animals to little avail.

We made it back to camp, Tower Falls, pretty early and spent a gorgeous afternoon sitting on rocks in an idealic little stream. Guillaume brandished my good chopping knife by his side “just incase”. Despite his Frenchness there seems to be a strong neanderthal presence waiting to bite bear necks just below the surface…

Back at camp we (mostly I) managed to make a delicious tinfoil-a-la-campfire quiche with a dozen eggs that I had been delicately lugging around for G’s birthday (long story). I don’t think I could ever get tired of campfire food. We also finally made ‘s’mores and Yogi told us his new favorite food was roasted marshmallows.

After some deliberation we climbed into the tent with a new game plan. We managed to squeeze into the single sleeping bag all zipped up, with yogi and the rest of the sheets piled on top. We slept rather decently, certainly the coziest burrito in Yellowstone.

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The Black Hills of South Dakota

25 Aug

We woke up to a staggeringly gorgeous sunrise in the Badlands and spied on some coyotes in the hills with binoculars. We headed over to The Black Hills just an hour or so west. We lunched in the Western town of Keystone to some local fair and saw such wonderful things as long haired men in leather chaps and matching embroidered wolf jacket.
We then went to see Mt. Rushmore which was pretty nifty. Then continued onto Needles highway, a windy little road going through tunnels and around “the black hills”, which are these dark grey fingerlike rocks sticking up on the mountain tops. We got out and climbed on the rocks barefoot, like monkeys on a jungle gym. All the kids were jealous their parents wouldn’t let them do the same. We continued our drive onto “wildlife loop” which took us through Custer State park. We saw herds of bison, more prairie dogs, and wild asses (…). We even saw a wild fox and a horse in a stand off, and made friends with a brazen little squirrel while we snacked on a hill. Chipmunks swarmed that hill like adorable little flees. After the epicness that was wildlife loop, we zoomed back to the town of Keystone where we just made the last showing of “One of South Dakotas Best comedy gun shows” starring “Big Dave” a three time, third place, South Dakota gun twirler. They sang soon to be famous songs like “John Wayne is still the king”, complete with a video slide show of John Wayne photos. Meanwhile Big Dave, 7’2″, (as his name tag red) re-enacted shoot-outs from a few of the best known western bar fights, as he shot blanks into the crowd. We loved it so much we bought a signed poster at the end.

After the show we managed to find a campground in the dark and set up our tent in record time. I shone the flashlight into the woods and saw three pairs of glowing green eyes staring back at me before climbing into the tent.

The Black Hills of South Dakota

25 Aug

We woke up to a staggeringly gorgeous sunrise in the Badlands and spied on some coyotes in the hills with binoculars. We headed over to The Black Hills just an hour or so west. We lunched in the Western town of Keystone to some local fair and saw such wonderful things as long haired men in leather chaps and matching embroidered wolf jacket.
We then went to see Mt. Rushmore which was pretty nifty. Then continued onto Needles highway, a windy little road going through tunnels and around “the black hills”, which are these dark grey fingerlike rocks sticking up on the mountain tops. We got out and climbed on the rocks barefoot, like monkeys on a jungle gym. All the kids were jealous their parents wouldn’t let them do the same. We continued our drive onto “wildlife loop” which took us through Custer State park. We saw herds of bison, more prairie dogs, and wild asses (…). We even saw a wild fox and a horse in a stand off, and made friends with a brazen little squirrel while we snacked on a hill. Chipmunks swarmed that hill like adorable little flees. After the epicness that was wildlife loop, we zoomed back to the town of Keystone where we just made the last showing of “One of South Dakotas Best comedy gun shows” starring “Big Dave” a three time, third place, South Dakota gun twirler. They sang soon to be famous songs like “John Wayne is still the king”, complete with a video slide show of John Wayne photos. Meanwhile Big Dave, 7’2″, (as his name tag red) re-enacted shoot-outs from a few of the best known western bar fights, as he shot blanks into the crowd. We loved it so much we bought a signed poster at the end.

After the show we managed to find a campground in the dark and set up our tent in record time. I shone the flashlight into the woods and saw three pairs of glowing green eyes staring back at me before climbing into the tent.

Entering South Dakota

21 Aug

We wake up early and hit the purple back roads of Minnesota (who knew?). Our first stop is Jeffers Petroglyphs. By the time we arrive both of us are pretty sure that I’ve done some shoddy navigation work and we are in the middle of nowhere but low and behold a little visitor center appears in cross plane of fields and prairies. We enter in and are told do watch a movie to “put us in the mood”. G and I glance at each other suspiciously. We sit in the room and press the painted turtle button (it’s one of those kind of places) and watch a short interpretive video flooded with images and symbols and drums and buffalo grunts. I begin to wonder if this is all just some peyote trance. The video ends with the crack of lightening from spirit eagles mouth or something equally as epic and I leave feeling very extremely tuned into to mother earth and quite convinced that I am a reincarnated Plains Indian.
We are led out onto this flat red rock in which literally thousands of carvings are made. Most of them are very faint and difficult to see but Gary our guide uses fancy things like mirrors in shadows to illuminate the petroglyphs. There are Thunder birds and horned turtles and hands and a slew of mystery symbols all etched into this sacred rock between 70000- 500 years ago. It was all very mystical and awesome.
We hop in the car again and picnic at some muddy little creek side and watch giant trucks pass by.
We hit the road again and drive only a few sweet hours before crossing in to South Dakota and deciding to break camp early today and enjoy the afternoon. We go to the Palisades State Park on Split Rock Creek and despite positive reviews in our guide book I’m not expecting much. The land is flat and full of corn. And that’s about it. We drive into the park and find this exotic oasis of red cliffs and gorges along the side of this creek (which we get to camp- ON). Boom. New high standard. This place is awesome, we spend the afternoon rock climbing and teaching yogi to “stone hop” on the creek so his feet don’t get wet (he’s a little vain in that way). It is a natural playground. We make grilled cheeses on the campfire (and I have to say they turned out pretty tasty) and salad. We try to count the stars as they become visible and found that if you squint hard enough in any one spot they start to appear. And find that if we squint hard enough in any one spot a star will appear. We fall asleep and are awaken once in the night to raccoon rummaging through our tings. Guillaume has graciously allowed me to quote him because he was an eye witness “He was huge!! He had arms like a fat foot ball player. He could have kicked all of our asses”. I begin to wonder how long this Frenchman will last in the American wilderness…

Vague and irrelevant background information

3 Aug

Stop judging me blank page!

After a year and a half of acting classes, working (ah!), moments of loathing and of course having a ferociously fabulous time, my New York City relationship has ended. We will part ways on a good note, knowing we really had a beautiful thing going but frankly it wasn’t meant to be.

After a brief stint dealing with terrifically pretentious people in The Hamptons (no blankets, I’m sure there are some down-to-earth people hiding under their Range Rovers’ somewhere in the vicinity) Gilly (my Francois boyfriend of 5 years- whhhhattt??) and I decided to end our planned “summer in the Hamptons” and opt to fast forward our move to California (we have already been lolly-gagging for an embarrassingly long time anyways).

G (aka. Guillaume, Gilly, Gizmo, G etc.) Yogi dog and I will leave from New York City on August 13th where my trusty 08′ Jetta awaits) and we will hit the road with Yogi dog. For a two+ week road trip cross country before arriving in LA on September 1st.

We’ll post videos and clips of our adventures and sketch comedy series we’ve just started ( http://www.youtube.com/user/Pugsarepeopletoo ). For the record, while we are already wickedly funny (…my mom told me so) we promise to get better and even more genius and entertaining as we progress and digress and figure out how to use the camera.

Kisses and snuggles to you world!