West Yellowstone, MT
West Yellowstone, MT
Church (1st Baptist)
We slept well last night, and that was really nice. After pop tarts and oatmeal, I called the man who emailed us last night, Ed, to see if we could stay at the church for the next 2 nights.
Our plan was to find a place to hunker down, work on our blog, do laundry, write post cards, fix up our bikes, and generally have a work day today. Then tomorrow, we wanted to see Yellowstone all day. We decided the best way to do this would be to rent a car, because the tours are very expensive and could easily cost over $200!
So I called Ed, and he said we were welcome to stay at the church for the next 2 nights. That is fabulous news! At the rate things were going, West Yellowstone could have become a money pit for us, but now we had some free lodging. Phew!
As we were packing our things back into our bikes downstairs and getting ready to head to the church, another guy came into the back room to get some milk. He started asking about our bikes and our trip, and we got to talking. His name is Sathish (pronounced saw-TEESH), and he's taking a break between MBA classes to visit Yellowstone.
We told him we were planning to rent a car and see the park tomorrow, and he said, "You don't need to rent a car. You can just use mine."
Ah! No Way! Really?! How awesome! How crazy! In a matter of about an hour, all of our circumstances had changed. We had found free lodging and now a free car to use to see the park! Unbelievable!
Nathan was right - we were just where we were supposed to be. :-) Gosh.
So we eagerly accepted Sathish's offer and arranged to meet him in the lobby of the hostel at 9am tomorrow morning so we could all head into the park together. The road through the park makes a figure-8, and Sathish said he was planning to do the upper part of the figure-8 tomorrow. That also worked out perfect for us, because our bike route took us south through the lower part of the figure-8. so his car trip combined with our bike trip would allow us to see nearly all of the park. Incredible!
And all of the sudden, I had this realization that God had gone before us and set up a wonderful surprise for us! And I was ashamed of my small perspective and reminded to trust God. I know it doesn't always work this way, with God preparing wonderful, money-saving surprises, but sometimes it does, and this was definitely no coincidence! I was in awe and in love with my wonderful Father and taken aback by the things He does to show me His kindness.
After saying goodbye to Sathish, we happily headed over to the church. We met Brenda, Ed's wife, and she showed us a Sunday School room that we could have while we stayed here, some mattresses we could use, and even a shower we could use! Then she asked us what we needed, and as we ran through the list of things we needed to purchase, she either told us that she had what we needed and we could have it, or where we could find it in West Yellowstone! She ended up giving us a bunch of safety pins, the rest of her Ibuprofen, and some mosquito netting so we could fix the holes in our tent's screen. Before we left to go run our errands, she gave us some tips on where some really great restaurants were in the area, too.
By this time it was about noon, and we were getting hungry, so we decided to go to one of the restaurants Brenda had recommended, because after going to the grocery store, we figured it would be about the same price to eat out (crazy!). We went to a pizza place called Wild West Pizzeria. They boasted of having "the best pizza you'll ever eat". We ordered a large pizza that was half supreme, and half "Butch Cassidy". Butch Cassidy had BBQ sauce, baked beans, onions, and pulled pork. I didn't want it, but Nathan did, so that's why we got the pizza 1/2 and 1/2.
When it came out, it looked amazing. You know how sometimes pizzas look amazing - like you almost want to take a picture of it it looks soooo good? This one looked just like that, and as Nathan and I prayed, we kept our eyes open and just stared at our pizza.
The supreme part was absolutely fabulous! I told Nathan and if I had never had Chicago-style pizza, this just might be the best pizza I've ever had. But, unfortunately for Wild West Pizzeria, Chicago pizza is still the king of pizzas to me. This pizza definitely ranked among the best though. Then Nathan tried his Butch Cassidy and really liked it!
Curiosity eventually got the best of me, and I tried a piece of his baked bean and pulled pork pizza, and much to my surprise, I really liked it too! It didn't really taste like pizza though..it tasted more like a really good pulled pork sandwich that you eat with a bite of baked beans on the side. It was totally delicious, even if it didn't taste like pizza! So we each at half of the supreme and half of the Butch Cassidy.
Feeling full and warm and happy from our excellent meal, we set out to run errands. We walked around for a few hours looking for the things we seem to be perpetually looking for: souvenir pins for me and patches for Nathan, shoe covers for wet weather, glove covers for wet weather, ear covers for cold weather, postcards, and a helmet mirror for me (Nathan replaced his back in Missoula).
We got some postcards and a souvenir pin for me and patch for Nathan of Yellowstone National Park. We also found some shoe covers, ear covers, and a helmet mirror, but, as we should have expected, they were very, very expensive, so we decided to keep waiting.
While running our errands, we saw a historic yellow bus in Yellowstone that was just like the historic red buses at Glacier Nat'l Park. We took a picture (this is especially for you, Grandma and Grandpa Perry).
We also got some "Swirl-Freeze" ice cream (because running errands is hard work). You could make your own flavor and the way they mixed it made it look really cool. I got huckleberry, and Nathan got pumpkin pie.
We got back to the church around 3 or so and started in on our other chores. I wrote about 30 postcards and still have more to go (Seriously, I have a ton of postcards. If you want to get one, write us a note with your address and let us know!). I also did laundry. It was so disgusting that I felt the need to wash my hands just after sorting it! Ew!
Nathan started working on updating our blog with stories, pictures,and videos. When I was done with my other stuff, I began sewing on reflective material to our orange safety vests - but not with a sewing machine. I did it the good, old fashioned, needle-and-thread way. It took forever just to finish one vest, and my back was sore from hunching over it. It gave me a lot of respect for women who used to make all their own clothing back in the day!
While making dinner, I discovered a can of beans in the church's pantry, and thought it would go great with what we were having (Enchilada Hamburger Helper...did you know the made Mexican entrees?). I asked Brenda and Ed if I could use it, and they said we could help ourselves to anything we wanted in the church's pantry. Woo-hoo! We looked around some more afterwards, but only took the beans for dinner.
We got a lot done today, but not nearly all of the things we were hoping to get done. During dinner, we decided that tomorrow, after our tour with Sathish, we could try and finish up.
Happy to have another rest day, a mattress to sleep on, and a free tour of Yellowstone with a new friend tomorrow, we are feeling content and cared for. What a good feeling. :-)