Friday, 24 April 2009

Freedom Road: Hadley's Otel


*Drunkblog. You probably should examine your life if you are pregaming going to the theatre. Tonight I saw the first part of His Dark Materials at the [Mike] Lowry. Spot the gratuitous Bad Boys reference. The daemons were really well done with puppets [I am aware of how ridiculous that sentence sounds, but trust me, they looked OK] and I particularly enjoyed the fact that Roger was played by a fat 40 year old man. Fra Pavel was hamming it up to almost Rickman-as-Sheriff-Of-Nottingham levels. It ended as Will became the bearer of the Subtle Knife. So I am back tomorrow for part deux. Coming up soon is the part featuring Pan which made me cry when I was reading the book in the bath. And today at work I raced the lift from the ground floor to the fourth floor - AND WON! 8 flights of stairs. In your face, elevator. I couldn't breathe for an hour afterwards, but I won fair and square. And tomorrow is Friday which means Cake Club. I think I am going to have a gingerbread man. And that is all I had and then I went to bed. Newsbookblog!*




Day Seven - Yellowstone National Park


Today we had to drive through Idaho to get to Wyoming for Jellystone National Park. Idaho seems to think that being famous for potatoes is something which should be publicised, rather than something which should be a source of shame. We encountered a man at a gas station who had the air of a killer about him. He said he would "be a lot more personable if he didn't have problems". I am still surprised that that sentence did not end with someone being talked down from a roof or the words 'and then he turned the gun on himself'.


Chad is smarter than the average bear

The day also marked my second attempt at driving a car, foolishly through the Grand Tetons. Jo seemed to really object when I was doing 60 in a 20mph zone on a narrow and windy 10% gradient mountain road. Spoilsport. I also had a problem operating the indicators on the car. I put the left signal on, changed lanes, went to turn it off but ended up putting the right indicator on instead. Repeat at least 15 times and you get a passenger laughing hysterically.






Ye Olde Faithful

We had some more McDonalds for lunch in Jackson's Hole. We arrived in Yellowstone and immediately went to see Old Faithful, which was conveniently going off as we were approaching. It was pretty impressive. There was also a lot of other geothermal activity in the immediate area - other geysers and pools of strange water which were boiling hot or hideously acidic - and we had a wander around it all. And maybe we broke some of the park rules. Definitely maybe.






The whole place stank, unsurprisingly, of sulphur. As we were leaving the Old Faithful area, we happened to drive through a herd of buffalo. This was the first really impressive wildlife we had seen since the bear in Yosemite. We had a bit more of a drive around and we saw loads of cars pulled over to the side of the road - a sure sign there is wildlife in the vicinity. So we get out of Chad and wander over to gawk at whatever is mooching by the road. If I am honest, I couldn't really see anything. So we approached a guy looking through some binoculars and asked him what he was looking at. He told us he was watching a wolf. Now, by this point, I could see what everyone was looking at. It looked like a scabby dog. It was most def not a wolf. My theory was, and is, that it was a coyote.


Blatantly not a wolf

I do not have the words to describe how awesome Yellowstone is. All I can say is go visit it before the supervolcano erupts and destroys us all. Or at least watch the most excellent recent BBC nature programme. 'Twas amazing.






By this point it was sunset and we had a last stop to look at some deer by a river before finding our way to West Yellowstone, where we were staying for the night. We had a sing-a-long to 'Always' by Bon Jovi, we were in very good moods. We had to find our accommodation for the night. We pulled up to Hadley's Otel (the 'm' on the sign had given up on life).


5 star

Now, Hadley's was the type of place that I have only previously seen referred to as 'Exhibit A', 'the murder scene' or 'the place where the victims' bodies were discovered'. The owner was actually wearing dungarees. And not in a it's-the-early-90s-and-Blossom-is-wearing-them-so-I-will-too way. In a 2008 way.


Murder scene anyone?

The room looked like your dad's garage, right down to the attractive breeze block feature walls. There was straw hanging out of the ceiling. There was a tool bench attached to the wall for use as a desk. The curtains looked like an oil rag. The bathroom was the size of a phone box. Literally. The door came off in Jo's hand. I cried tears. Some of them of laughter.




Tripadvisor throws up some really mixed reviews. 'Dirty and bad' - agreed. 'Liked: free wireless' - hang on. They don't have a door on the bathroom, but they have wireless internet. Go figure. 'The manager is deranged' - hell yeah! 'I went there on my honeymoon' - I really hope that marriage ended in a hideous divorce.


Mmm. Nice bathroom.

We sat in the room and ate pizza and watched baseball.




Living the American Dream in some dude's garage.



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