Cody, Wyoming to Boise, Idaho
Miles: 4,795 (yay subtraction skills)
I woke up bright and early the next morning (for obvious reasons) and with my new sleep and practicality, headed to the local public library for some internet. I got directions from one of the larger interstates to my summer Boss’ house where I would be staying in Boise. No matter what I did today, I would have to be in Boise ready to work by the next day. I tried to look up any new road closures and make sure my Yellowstone path was indeed free today, but never found anything definitive online. So, after I was satisfied with being reconnected with the world, I went up to the librarian desk and sheepishly asked if she knew whether Yellowstone was open today. She didn’t know, but soon enough I had three librarians, two random bystanders, and two people on the phone all hunched over a map trying to get their facts straight. Finally it was determined that indeed the East Entrance to Yellowstone was still closed and for at least the next several days would only be open after dark (snow melts under the sun in the day and apparently causes avalanches). I swallowed the news and next asked, well then how do I get out of here? This was a much harder question, so the Librarians sent me over to the Chamber of Commerce, a tiny log building on the side of the hill. There, I was given a highlighted map of Wyoming, a map of Montana, and a map of the two-street town just in case I got lost getting out of it. I would have to come back to Yellowstone and all the other cool things I was skipping over during one of my breaks.
There were possibly better, faster routes to get to Boise by, but I refused to take any road on the map that wasn’t coated in that beautiful interstate red – I had learned my lesson. Lucky for me, this made my route pretty choiceless and simple. I took 90 across Montana and then 15 South into Idaho, arriving in Boise (finally) just after 1 a.m. I stopped for nothing except when my tank was empty and I needed gas – which occurred twice. The drive was like most of my other drives. The scenery of snow-capped mountains and almost desert valleys were beautiful. The population of cows was certainly several-fold higher than the number of people in the area. The radio was quite dull, though I did find an electronic station in the middle of nowhere and a pretty consistent NPR station. I did find the commercials slightly interesting. In Detroit, one particular commercial on whether or not you were receiving your full amount of government benefits like Medicaid and unemployment was almost on repeat. Here, the commercial was for a depression hotline, because, as the ad claimed (though not verbatim), it sucks living in the middle of nowhere. The billboards too were a little odd in that maybe 80% of them were anti-abortion. My favorite that was not about abortion but about the decline of our youth was a mother looking distraught and weepy with a bold headline above her declaring “I used to have a daughter, now I have a stripper.” For some terrible reason, that was just really really funny to me. The other oddity out here was that when I stopped for gas in Montana, I went into the convenient store to fill up my water bottle and headed to the back corner of the store near the smelly restrooms. Suddenly, a man walked out of a door I hadn’t noticed before, revealing an incredibly dimly lit room with the word CASINO in bright yellow neon on the opposite wall. Really? That’s legal? This whole west thing has me at one point totally in awe and at the next completely turned around.
This leg of my journey ends anticlimactically with me not getting lost at all and pulling safely into the driveway on the corner of E Moore St. I lock my car and bring nothing but my phone and keys. The door has been left open for me and I creep through the garage-turned-everything-outdoor-you-could-possibly-own-storage-space and into the hallway that is my warm, comfortable futon bed. I made it.