Oh man--it has already been 3 weeks since we left the rez and now we are in Montana! Since we left DC five long months ago, we've gone 2,890 miles, and we're now less than 800 miles away from Seattle!! How the hell did this happen? One day at a time.
Well, we left the rez and saw our amazing friends, Jodi, Judy, Ruby and Rachel, in the Black Hills. They were heading to volunteer at Re-Member for a week, so we rendevouzed in the middle. The Black Hills were a beautiful ride and it's understandable why the Lakota revere those mountains as their most holy land.
Once we got to Wyoming, it began to hit us that we hadn't been on our bikes for five weeks. Exhaustion kicked in. We tooks days off, hitched hiked, met beautiful strangers and climbed mountains.
On our way into Wyoming we were having both a physical and mental break down (aka--sobbing on the side of the road, wondering if we still want to do this) when Wilbert, from Fargo, MD came to our rescue with his pickup truck. Rach saw a car from Maryland at the rest stop and talked him up. He was great! He was driving across the country to Yellowstone and the Tetons then to Las Vegas and back. He was such a great spirit with a huge heart and drove us about 70 miles to Gillete, WY. When he dropped us off, he said, "I feel like I should just take you guys with me!"
In Gillete, you can find the largest open air mine in the country, thus practically all the jobs in Wyoming. People would come up to work in the mines for a couple weeks, staying in hotels, then rotate home while a new crew comes in for a few weeks.
After a handfull of small towns and hot, shade-less sun, we arrived to Cody, WY, about 50 miles from the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park. At the end of a 55 mile day into Cody we ran into Ramona on her bike as she was going for a ride. After some talking, she and her husband Jeff invited us to come stay the night at their beautiful house just outside of town. It was so nice because we haven't been able to stay with people becasue recently we didn't know anybody. It was refreshing and we had a great night of conversation, food, beers and more. They made us feel right at home! Better yet, Jeff offered to drive us into the park the next day, which he and Ramona did for 80 miles, taking us to our first campsite in Yellowstone! We were so greatful for them and now we know where to go next time we come to Yellowstone.