Thanksgiving week is a big week for me. It's the week that contains my favorite holiday and the birthdays of my favorite men, my husband and my father. It should be filled with lots of planning, in reality its filled with procrastination. Nonetheless, I came up with the brilliant idea to surprise my husband Tony with a road trip to his favorite place in the world, Yellowstone. My plan was to arrive monday, then wolf watch everyday until we had to return to Colorado for thanksgiving dinner. My plan only went half way to h-e-double hockey sticks.
I packed up Roxy (our van) in anticipation of Tony coming home work. Like the model wife that I NEVER am, I baked him a lovely cake to begin Thanks-birthday-giving week. Most people like redvelvet, chocolate or vanilla. Tony likes pineapple upside down cake, different, but hey why not?
Heading out into the night, the 10 hour drive went rather fast. We were greeted by a gorgeous sunrise inside Montana. What an awesome start, right? Cake, 10 star sunrise, why not add a rare hotel stay to make it super comfy? Done.
Once we pulled into Gardiner, Montana and prepped for an afternoon of photos, we were off to Lamar valley. We found wolves within minutes in Lamar, but they were a little too far too photograph. So we decided to turn in early and get a jump on the morning.
TUESDAY MORNING | THE GREAT:
We had the park to ourselves. what an amazing day. Quiet, just us and the animals.
and then this happened...
Wow wow wow.
That was the closest we've ever been to wild wolves. There were wolves crossing the road right in front of us! I literally wrote this is the best day ever on a facebook post when our luck changed.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON | THE NOT GREAT
On our way back to our wolf spot from lunch, disaster struck. Our rare and obscure turbo minivan suffered great internal injury after pulling out of a viewing area. We think a pin came loose in her differential and lodged into her gears. Roxy was forced into 1st gear where she then seized... In the middle of the road... with no service.
We scrambled to get her to safety and eventually with a lot of headaches and a lighter wallet she should be back in Colorado by Monday.
Now we're sitting in a hotel room reflecting on the week and trying to organize a plan of attack for reviving Roxy. Though my mind keeps wandering to the new things that I'm thankful for this holiday.
The people of Gardiner were unspeakably kind to us. For a small town to offer help to young Coloradoans whom they know nothing of, in this time of Craigslist killers, is so amazing. One man stopped to give us a ride to cellphone service and then the visitor center, two people offered to give us rides to the airport 2 hours away without accepting payment (the woman who did take us was an absolute gem), the local repair shop is allowing us extra time to find a better way to transport or van home. Even the local tow truck driver helped us brainstorm ways of not having to tow it 50 miles to a dealership.
God bless you Gardiner know that your kindness did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. You're in our thoughts this holiday season.