Thelma: Day #9 – Yellowstone National Park

Thermal• Number of miles driven: 212

• Amount of money spent:  $206.85 ($153.70 motel, $27.84 gas, $10.75 lunch, $14.06 junk food)

• Best pic: Thermal Geyser

• Bear sighting: 1

• Moose sighting: 1

• Buffalo herd sighting: 2

• Song of the Day: Anna Nalick’s Breathe (2AM)

• Audio Book:  Judicial Trends in the 20th Century by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

• Number of times I almost drove off the road: 2

• Nighttime abode: Jackson, WY

• Special Purchase: $25 Yellowstone National park entrance fee

One of the (only) problems with traveling is that everywhere you go starts to remind you of somewhere else you’ve been. For instance, parts of Glacier National Park reminded me of Wayna Pichu (the sister mountain to Machu Pichu) and central Montana looks a bit like central Chile.

Which reminds me….I took a 3-week Chile road trip, driving from Santiago to the island of Chiloe. (At the time, it was the farthest you could drive in southern Chile since the road through Patagonia wasn’t open yet). While staying on Chiloe, I took a boat ride around the bay to view sea lions close up.

There were about 10 of us in a small excursion boat, and there was also a small fishing boat and a huge container ship in the bay. Unbelievably, the container ship was heading straight for the fishing boat, even though the fisherman, at this point, was standing up and waving his arms frantically — to no avail.

The ship collides into the fishing boat, which then literally explodes and splitters into a thousand toothpicks. Luckily, before the collision, both the fisherman and his wife literally jump ship.

Now, our little excursion is in momentary shock and then we motor over to the remnants. The ship also swings around and throws a life ring to the wife and pulls her aboard. We reach the fisherman, who is tangled in his nets. Our captain jumps in the water and cuts him free.

His wife, meanwhile, is wailing at the top of her lungs at the ship’s banister. (Before this moment, I’ve never heard wailing before – but it’s unmistakable.)  We were all a bit panicked and thought that there might be a third person (a child) on board, because of his wife’s hysteria.

As it turns out, there was no 3rd person, the captain of the tanker was drunk, and the wife was hurling obscenities, curses and threats. It was a bit of a Gillian moment – you think you’re going out for a 3-hour cruise and end up witnessing the utter destruction of this family’s livelihood.


Read the next post in this seires: Thelma: Day #10 – Jackson Hole Rodeo

Read the first post in this series: Thelma without Louise: An American Adventure

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 15th, 2010 and is filed under North America.

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