day 141
yellowstone national park

"This shouldn't take long, but bring your wallet." -a.
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So Much To Do:
Indian Creek: Closed
Tower Fall: Closed
Norris: Closed
Slough Creek: Closed
Madison: Closed
Canyon: Closed
Pebble Creek: Closed
Bridge Bay: Closed
Grant Village: Closed
Lewis Lake: Closed
Mammoth: Open

Claim to Fame: Old Faithful, which is also closed, and the Petrified Tree, which either isn't clearly marked, or is just a hoax.

Kirk Quote of the Day
Headwaters, Part II:
We did the Mississippi back on Day 51, so why not the Missouri? After all, it's the combination of the two rivers that makes it the third largest river system in the world. Without the Missouri, the Mississippi would be, oh, I don't know, seventh or something.

Let's hear it for the Missouri! Hip hip HOORAY!

To see more fascinating river facts, go to the library!

Rich With Wildlife
Jan 14 - Before entering Yellowstone, we geared up. We bought water and food thinking that we were entering the last frontier. It's January. Those are the Rockies. If this was anything like Baxter, we were going in prepared. Our moms would expect nothing less.

Well, we've learned our lesson. Pretty much the only thing you need to prepare is your pocketbook, for the luxury that awaits you in Yellowstone. Looking for a spa? They've got it. Want to book a hot tub for an hour? They've got it. Need a lift down to Old Faithful? Fork over the cash and a snowmobile rental is yours.

Needless to say, they also had water and food. A four star restaurant (Well, two star food with four star service, at least.)

What are the chances that you'll see something like this again?
As a welcome break from our ordinary routine of working on the web site in the heated Jeep at night, we were able to lounge around the lodge for hours. We had an outlet, a cell signal, a hot buttered rum and a cozy fire to warm our tootsies. We took it nice and easy, stretched out, and chatted with the locals.

How did we do it? Simple. If you're in Yellowstone in January, they assume your staying at the ritzy hotel. They also assume that you're rolling in the bucks. Little did they know that the only thing we were rolling in were four sleeping bags and three pairs of socks over at the campground.

The key is to act rich. There are three easy steps to doing this:

1. Never assume you're doing anything wrong. This doesn't mean you can't still be polite. It just means that you needn't bother asking the staff if something is allowed, such as plugging in your laptop, ordering food in the bar area just because you're already comfortable there, or staying way way past closing time.

2. Call your waiter by his first name. Get to know one guy by his nametag. That way, when you're all out of your water-with-lemon, you can look up and say "Hey John! You're falling behind on that water!" Then just smile big and tilt your chin up, like you're sharing a little joke with him. He'll smile back, then get you another water-with-lemon. Maybe he'll say "asshole" under his breath, but hey, it all adds to the act.

3. Try to order food that isn't on the menu. Act as though you're used to getting whatever you want whenever you want. You can glance at the menu when the waiter isn't looking, then when he asks what you want, act like you're making it up: "You wouldn't happen to have, say, a nice clam chowder, or a cream of mushroom?" "No sir, our soup today is the Mediterranean Vegetable." "You really don't have chowder?" "No, I'm sorry sir." "Alright, I'll just have a house salad then."

Most people ask us how we are able to fund our trip. We were the only two people in Yellowstone paying six bucks a night for accommodations. Everyone else paid at least ten times more (though was probably only five times more comfortable). Those who did know were kind enough to let us in on the secret of free showers, and didn't snicker too loudly when they caught us basking in front of the hotel fireplace.

I think it's fair to say that we had as good a time as anyone. We hiked through the hot springs, watched the elk antler-wrestle in the mountains and marveled at the beauty of Yellowstone. I guess they mean it when they say that the best things in life are free. Or, at least cheaper than 60 bucks.

the flora...

the fauna...
more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)


Next Stop: Break out the Showshoes!

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Snowed In

Daily Stats

National Parks Pass...
Today's Savings:$20.00
Savings to Date:$74.00
Cost of Pass:$50.00

Sleeping Quarters
Mammoth Hot Springs

Site 57. The best thing about Yellowstone is that everyone thinks we're rich enough to stay at the hotel. So, when it gets cold, we can just hang out in the hotel lounge and order hot buttered rums in front of the fire. After all, no one in their right mind would be camping in this. No one but us!

Cost: $6.00

Three Forks, MT
Kevin:Apple Oatmeal
Aimee:Raisin Oatmeal
In the Jeep
Highway 89
Split:Bag of Jalapeno & Sharp Cheddar Chips
The Dining Room
K's Order:French Onion Soup
Irish Creme Coffee
A's Order:House Salad
Moose Drool Beer

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© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Acting Rich, Living Cheap.