Sunday, July 12, 2009

Studly Cyclists and Flying Pancakes

Glacier National Park has breathtaking views.
Whether you love mountains (Prof. X) or water (me) the most, they've got you covered.
Photos credit: Professor X

I know you've all been waiting to hear about the first leg of our massive road trip, but we've had sporadic internet access, and have been driving long distances, so this is the first chance I've had to share.

We putzed around horribly on the day we were due to leave, so we didn't get as far as I'd planned. We made it to Kellogg, Idaho and fell into our beds. The next day we had a wonderful drive to Glacier National Park. We all loved the beauty of the Going to the Sun Highway, and made it into St. Mary, MT KOA before dark.

We saw lots of this lovely beargrass! Photo credit: Professor X

While I was checking us into our cozy camping cabin, I met a guy who was traveling cross country. I enacted the "where are you from and where are you going" scene with him. Turns out he had started in NYC and was headed to Seattle, then down to San Diego to meet up with his wife, who was acting in a play there. I felt slightly smug, because although that was a long trip, my family and I will be driving about as much. So I told him our itinerary. Instead of being impressed, he one-upped me.

He was bicycling.
photo credit: Fletch Rides Across America

Holy crap.

We talked a little more, and I mentioned the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the final stop on our summer itinerary, and he explained that he'd been an actor in numerous Shakespeare festivals around the country. I told him I'd purchased numerous tickets to Shakespeare festivals. But let's face it, he won that round too. Impressive, most impressive.

He told me he had given up acting and was going to law school, to the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. I casually replied "Oh, named for the Supreme Court Justice?"

He was impressed! Huzzah! I'd succeeded in my attempt to show I was smart and thus score a point. But let's be honest, he had the higher score so far. Then he showed his winning card in this competitive game. His business card. Which gave me the knowledge that he was doing the bike ride as a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

He wins. Way to go, Stephen Fletcher! May your 5,000 mile ride increase awareness and generate donations to the cause.

You can learn more about him and contribute at The Fletch Ride.

The next morning, we ordered some pancakes from the nice ladies at the campground cookhouse and brought them to the picnic tables. The wind was blowing so hard that when Professor X tried to pour syrup on them, the syrup travelled in a horizontal line over the plate, suspended in midair. Gravity finally took its toll, and the syrup landed on the table a few inches west of the plate. We all laughed.

Until the wind picked up so much that the pancakes achieved liftoff and spun off our plates onto the dining deck. Ye Gods, these Montanans have some vigorous weather! We went back to the nice ladies for more pancakes and then ate hunched over our plates, with one hand protectively resting on top of the stack. I am happy to report no further breakfast casualties. I only hope that young Mr. Fletcher didn't get blown off his bike.


stephanie (bad mom) said...

Oh you are making me tired what with the waking & packing & driving & siteseeing & smart talking & pancake-protecting.

But really, I'm jealous. Beautiful stuff you're involved in.

Miss you! keep on having fun though :D

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

I have always wanted to go to Glacier National Park! I am glad that you liked it. How did you enjoy the camping cabin? I'm too old for tents...

Good on Stephen Fletcher! I can't imagine biking those mountain roads.

Fantastic Forrest said...

bad mom - I miss you too. Next year, you and the famdamily should caravan with us!

JaPRA - camping cabins rock. Like you, I have passed the age of tenting. Four pillows and four sleeping bags take up a lot of packing space, but it saves on lodging expenses.

Kathy Amen said...

Love the pix and the bike story. Glacier is a truly awesome place. I lived in Montana for 5 years as a little girl and we went up there a lot (when there were more glaciers). I also remember that normal windspeed in Montana is 20-30 mph. I didn't realize how un-normal that is for most of the world until we moved away.

Looking forward to more travel posts!

phd in yogurtry said...

I thought you were next going to say that he had three kids stowed away in his backpack. Then he would have outscored me, even!

La Belette Rouge said...

That scenery is amazing. LOL @ the flying pancakes. I guess that means they were light and fluffy.;-)

Fantastic Forrest said...

Kathy Amen - I know what you mean about "when there were more glaciers" - the Global Warming deniers can bite it. We were there 16 years ago, and it was a whole lot more snowy at this time of year. As for windy places, I went to school at Loyola on Lake Michigan, which was so windy it knocked down some of the elderly Jesuit religion teachers!

phD in Yogurtry - Do tell! Did you do a cross country cycling trip with two kids in your backpack? Details, must have details.

La Belette Rouge - Good one!

La Belette Rouge said...

FF: I wanted to write you a private email to thank you for your comment on my blog today but I can't find your email. Your very astute comment means a lot to me.
My email address is the name of my blog @ gmail .com

Bee said...

Oh, this made me laugh from start to finish! So have you been following the studly cyclist's progress? (Some people are just too damn perfect, right? Better to read my account of cycling, when I describe how I nearly cry every time I have to go up a hill. I don't think that I would do well with gusty winds either.)