drive from Yellowstone to Glacier was quite interesting. Leading through Montana
most of the way, the speed limit was "prudent and safe", whatever that
means. Let's say the average over 500 miles, of which were 100 still in
Yellowstone and many others on the interstate, was 65mph. I think that's
prudent. I had to learn that the roads in Montana are definitely not built for
speeds much above 110mph, and neither are the drivers: twice an idiot merged
right before me, with maybe a few car lengths to spare, at speed differences of
maybe 50mph. This lead to some harsh braking (which - unlike with my old Accord
- worked) and also to the conclusion that I would not test the advertised top
speed of 138mph; instead I stayed in the 90 range most of the time. With about
22mpg the gas mileage reached a new record low, though - this in contrast to
about 29mpg for most of the trip.
arrived at Glacier at around 5pm in a slight rain shower. Just as I was setting
up my tent a number of park rangers approached me and said that the tent nearby
was attacked and demolished by a black bear just about an hour ago and that they
discouraged people from sleeping in tents tonight. When I objected that I slept
maybe some 4 hours last night and had a long drive both behind and before me,
the ranger suggested that I have my car remote handy at night and - if attacked
by a bear - sound the car alarm, which will most likely distract the bear. So I
tested the car alarm for the first time ever, just to make sure it works if
needed. And I had both remotes in my tent as well.
campsite next to me was occupied by a number of rainbow flag guys from Montana
who were here hiking. One of them has a bumper sticker on his car saying
"Thank me - I voted Clinton / Gore". Especially in the current context
a very funny sticker indeed.
bear came by my tent during the night, but I still got up early to get on the
road. There was no way to stay, anyway, as the rangers closed the campground
until further notice, because of bears. The weather in the park was very
inhospitable and so there was one less reason to stay. The main reason for an
early departure, however, was in the beauty and simplicity of American
immigration laws. I have no clue what really happened, and in a sense I don't
want to know as I would probably kick some @$$, but over the past days I was in
contact with my boss at Apple and the attorneys and - surprisingly - something
went wrong again. Kinda hard to believe, after all that is (and more
importantly, what is left out) in the preamble to this travelogue. Anyway, I had
to rush to Boise, where I was meeting an old friend, and now also where the
lawyers were FedEx'ing some documents to me. Ah beauty.
"fact" that there is no speed limit in Montana is a misconception, at
least according to the two officers in bullet-proof vests who pulled me over for
going 114mph on I-90. While I didn't have an opportunity to contest the
issue right on the spot, I could also not come up with a strategy of how to
fight this ticket - it's less the $70 than the entry on the record that bothers
me. For me, having logged thousands of miles at speeds around 140mph in Germany,
114mph in Montana traffic (i.e., no cars) doesn't sound like a big deal. Oh
well, somewhere deep I probably think I deserved it.
two stages, but in one piece I arrived in Boise where I was expected by two
FedEx packages - papers to fill out, fax and send back - and then, finally, meet
with my friend Sarah. Unfortunately, her grandfather had just died and so she
was obviously preoccupied with bigger issues, and we didn't get to spend too
much quality time together.
While scouting out the Boise area, I got hit by the State Fruit, i.e. a potato, that fell off a truck. I should consider myself lucky, though, for not being hit by the logs that fell off a camper just ahead of me. You should have seen the maneuvers performed by myself and other motorists, including an eighteen-wheeler, in order to avoid a collision! Either way, now I have a nice dent in the hood, which was soon joined by even prettier scratches caused by a random cat or other not well behaved animal that felt like fooling around my hood. I guess a few hundred bucks will, or more accurately, would fix it. But it's just a car and casualties are to be expected.