Friday, July 8, 2022

Day 116: The Dubois Zero Day Blues

August 14: The first thing I did in the morning was call the backcountry office and see about getting myself a permit. The call went to voice mail, however, so I left a message about myself and the number to call me back at.

And I waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Two hours later, I was still waiting. I couldn't leave the church where I had spent the night because my phone didn't work in town. I needed a wi-fi connection to accept any phone calls, so I needed stay within that wi-fi signal for the callback from Yellowstone.

Watch out for bears! This looks like a mean one!

Originally, my plan had been to get a permit and leave town, but as checkout time for the hostel approached and still with no idea when the park officials at Yellowstone would call me back, I started thinking about just taking a zero day. Give me more time to get my ducks in a row.

But after two hours of waiting, I had to leave. It was Saturday, and the post office was scheduled to close at 11:45am. What's up with the weird opening and closing times of these post offices? But in any case, I needed to send my laptop ahead before they closed or I'd be stuck with it until Monday and taking a double-zero in Dubois was absolutely out of the question. I had a free place to stay at the church for two nights, but after that, I'd be kicked out to an expensive hotel. No thanks!

With time running out, I made arrangements to stay at the church for one more night, then walked into town to buy a little food at the grocery store and onward to the post office to ship a couple of packages ahead. One package with my laptop would go on to West Yellowstone, my next big resupply point. The other package would just include some food that I'd ship to Old Faithful City. (Come on, nobody really thinks that's just a "village" anymore, do they?)

Then I headed out to the library where I printed some maps of the upcoming section.

And finally I headed back to the church where I got on the wi-fi connection and found that yes, of course, I missed the callback from the park service. Argh!

They did leave a number to call back again, a special number, I guess, that would get me past the voice mail, so I gave that a call and got through to a live person and worked out a permit for myself. It wasn't precisely what I wanted since some of the campsites where I wanted to camp were already occupied, but there were nearby alternatives I could use. The one night where I had the biggest problem getting a site was when I wanted to camp near Old Faithful--the closest walk-in campsite was about a three-mile off-trail walk. Ugh. Not the end of the world or anything, but not a great feeling either.

After passing Old Faithful, I wasn't sure if I would hike outside of the park the next day or spend one more night in the park, but to be on the safe side, I reserved the last campsite before leaving the park. If I got there and wanted to keep going, I could just skip it and still camp legally outside of the park.

I gave the woman on the phone my credit card number, paid for the permit, and soon received an email confirmation with my itinerary, which I downloaded and saved to my phone. If I ran into any rangers who wanted to check my permit, I was ready.

With that all settled, the rest of the day I could relax. In fact, I pretty much had to relax. My laptop was already on its way to West Yellowstone so it's not like I could work on that anymore. I did make a trip back to the grocery store to stock up some items for the hike between here and Old Faithful, but that was the only task left that I had to get done.

For lunch, I headed to the Outpost which was extremely busy, but the food was good. While waiting inside for my meal to be prepared, I watched a couple of other guys in line pull out their guns to show each other and admire. It seemed like a scene out of the wild west.

Then I headed back to the church again for the rest of the night. I finally took the time to sew up the holes that had formed in my pack where the shoulder straps connected with my pack. I'd been letting them linger for a few days now, but it was finally time to fix them before they got any worse. Not like I had anything better to do, and it was definitely a lot easier to work on when my hands were warm than in the evening when they might be freezing cold!

And thus ended another day on the trail....


I ate lunch at The Outpost, which was marked with this giant moose.

What is up with all the giant animals in this town?

The general store wasn't open while I was in town, but apparently it has one claim to fame....

Butch Cassidy allegedly shopped here. Too bad I couldn't!

If you're a fan of antlers, I know where you can find a few....

No comments: