In just a few days, I will be leading two Tetons/Yellowstone trips for Adventure Cycling. Each trip will be van-supported and will last for eight days. Having been to neither the Tetons nor Yellowstone before, I decided to do a "reconnaissance ride" on my own along the route. The reconnaissance ride would enable me to scout out the area so that I could provide a better trip experience for my riders.
My adventure began at the Greyhound bus station in Seattle. At 11:45pm, I boarded a bus for a 16-hour ride to Bozeman, Montana. Riding straight south from Bozeman would get me to West Yellowstone, at the far northern tip of the Tetons/Yellowstone loop. Note that Bozeman is 120 miles away from West Yellowstone. Though I could have taken a bus to Jackson, Wyoming, which is the official starting and ending point of the Adventure Cycling route, doing so would have meant arriving into an unfamiliar town in the middle of the night. Instead, I opted to ride an extra 240 miles roundtrip in order to arrive in the daytime.
This was my first long-distance bus trip in the United States. I had heard from numerous people that the scum of all scum took Greyhound. I was sorta looking forward to experiencing the scummy experience for myself...but sorta not.
Shortly after arriving at the Seattle Greyhound Station, a man named Reginold Smiley put my mind at ease. Sitting just a few seats away from me, we started chatting as he opened up his sketchbook to draw Greyhound's greyhound.
|Meet Reginold Smiley, hobby artist extraordinaire.|
It didn't take long for Reginold to draw the greyhound. We hadn't even left the bus station, and we still had many hours ahead of us. Reginold asked if he could make a drawing for me. Really? For me? I'd be flattered! Reginold asked what I wanted him to draw. I hemmed and hawed for a bit, and then I requested that he draw something related to my favorite quote: "Roots hold me close, wings set me free." (See Sailors, Whores, & Ink for more information about this quote.) Reginold started the drawing, saying that he likely wouldn't finish it until mid-bus ride.