October 20, 2004


I'm sitting in Lander's Laundrymat (sic). Jay's taking a phone call, so I'm stuck here doing our laundry while tinny country music croons from speakers unseen. I'd likely tear them down if I could find them; I hate country music. I hate laundromats, too. I'm allergic to them, all the dust, soap and mildew. This one's no exception. My eyes are itchy and my nose stuffy from the deuling scents of Tide and Ultra Cheer.

Despite the current suckage, today was a fun day. We drove out to Sinks Canyon and took the Stud Mobile into 4WD up, up, up a couple thousand feet on a muddy potholed dirt road. Six miles up there was a dark gray lake with windy white caps. It was starting to rain so we pulled on our rain gear and headed out for a hike.

We hiked around the lake, over downed trees and navigated our way across a stream that fed the lake. Huge tracks resembling a deer on steroids (elk, perhaps?) circled the lake. Never saw the magnificent beast, though.

After hiking and scraping off the mud, we headed back down and parked in a small, four site campground. It had a cool boulder and a grassy area where we did yoga. We made lunch. Okay, Jay made lunch, which of course included a juice. This one was actually palatable and I finished it all. Even before Jay finished his juice! Then we headed back and I got stuck doing laundry in this freakin' laundromat. Jay was going to hook up the WiFi so I could surf online while doing laundry. Looks like the satellite dish wasn't cooperating.

I'm feeling napful. Perhaps it was the crappy sleep last night. We stayed at The Noble, the NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) hostel. Jay and I shared a room, sans roomates. We each got our own squeaky, painfully uncomfortable bunkbed. The sheets were without elastic, which pretty much ensured the bedding becoming knotted up as I thrashed around in fitful sleep. This was true dorm livin'-- the younger "kids" on a NOLS semested were up late and being noisy. I rolled over, deaf ear up, and slept anyway.

Despite my grumbling, I love, love, love this town. Enough so that I'm noticing which homes are for sale. It's a small town, about 5000 people and a mile high in elevation. There are big skies, diesel trucks, and changing leaves. Yesterday we got smoothies at a shop called "Chocolates for Breakfast". My kind of place, I thought, until once inside I realized it should have been called "The Jesus Cafe", given the amount of religious paraphenalia for sale in every nook and cranny. The Safeway here stocks my brand of Soymilk and tofu, a big plus in my book. The local chinese restaurant has veggie food on the menu, but more importantly, it's a probable source of fuel. They are the only joint in town that uses non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. (The van can't run on hydrogenated oil.) We sourced oil upon our arrival in town, and people looked at us oddly when we mentioned the van ran on used restaurant oil. Apparently NOLS has a bus that runs on veggie oil, too, and this Chinese restaurant is where they score their fuel, too. Fortunately for us, they're not running the bus right now, so there's no competition for the oil.

Anyway, this town is cool. Outdoorsy vibe, blue collar, and seemingly an equal number of Kerry supporters to the number of Bush folks. Good sign, especially in Cheyney country!

The Woofer (Wilderness First Responder) class starts tomorrow, so our relaxation and fun ends today. Tomorrow begins brain overload!

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