Run through the forest, settle before the sun.

After the coffee shop in Rapid City, I got dinner at a local brew-pub (which means a bowl of lettuce and a delicious beer.)

Downtown Rapid City

And I got a stupid parking ticket.  It was only 5 dollars, but still stupid.

Then I headed west on I-90 again.  Drove through a thunderstorm with a bit of hail.  Most of the action was to the north of the highway so I got to see a lot of the lightning in the distance which was cool.  Then to the south there was the big nearly full moon staring at me in a sky clear as day.

After the storm, I stopped at a rest stop with the intent to sleep.  A questionable dude asked for a cigarette (around midnight).  Then I thought of all the “be carefuls” and “don’t dies” from various people before I left and I decided not to sleep there.  After that I slept and woke up to the sun rising over the mountains.

Mountains.  That’s what I had been waiting to see.  The drive to Yellowstone through Wyoming was beautiful.  On the way up the Bighorn mountains I stopped to take pictures, climbed rocks to take pictures, and climbed my car to take pictures.  All of these pictures were in RAW format and I can’t open or import them on my computer, unfortunately.

Arguably, the drive into Yellowstone was more picturesque than Yellowstone itself (in some cases.)

Trreeeeeessss

Too many pictures of that.  Just go through the gallery.

As with the Badlands, the Blackhills, and  Bighorn, I could live in Yellowstone.  On top of one of the mountains around Yellowstone Lake.

I went to see Old Faithful and met a girl from California who was road tripping with her dog.  She had a little bit of that Californian-Idiot on her, but she was alright.  Her name was Jemimah and she asked me while waiting for Old Faithful to go off, “sooo, does this thing like… shoot out water or something?”  Silly girl.  Talking with her made me realize how much my conversational abilities (and desire) have declined on my voyage.  There’s just so much to see that it makes talking seem trivial.

Another geyser.

Old Faithful

Old Faithful being less faithful.

Look how clear that water is.

Then several ridiculously photographic moments happened.

Rainbow in Yellowstone? No way.

Double rainbow over a field of bison in Yellowstone National Park.  Comical, really.

Then, I discovered a hidden talent.

Jackie Matelski:  Bison Whisperer.

This herd of bison followed me up a trail while I was shooting pictures of the sunset.  I didn’t take too many photos of them because a flyer given to me at the park entrance warned of many people being GORED by bison in Yellowstone and how they can charge at 30mph so, needless to say, I was a bit terrified when 8 of them followed me up the trail.  But I got these great shots.

A photographer traveling West for the first time is like a kid in a candy store.

I’m in Butte (real mature, guys), Montana at a coffee shop owned by VEGANS… THANK GOD.  I had this tasty tofu sandwich:

Tofu for the first time in a week, thanks to Hummingbird Cafe in Butte, MT.

Its been a rainy drive this morning, and it will be for the next day.  I’m waiting out some of it for a while here, then trying to drive as much as I can for the next 24 hours so that I can be in Seattle sometime tomorrow afternoon when it will have stopped raining.  Should be on Orcas by Sunday.

See you in Seattle.

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