Ok, when I’m wrong, I’ll post a retraction. It’s rare, but here goes… the biker dudes I met at Alpine Motel, are nice guys from NY. Upstate NY. Don’t like the Red Sox, but I can forgive that… if you’re from Boston you have to like the Red Sox, but let’s face it, I’m not exactly a sports fan.
So cute young front desk guy, at the cool cottages I’m staying at, told biker dudes that they should talk to “Dawn in cottage 10, she knows a lot about the park.” Go figure. I think that because I like to write about places, I just get to the bottom of things/places/etc quickly… and I’m flying solo, so I have in fact driven down most of the open roads in the park in the past 5 days. I’ve driven miles and miles of that park and spent about 13-15 hrs a day there, each day. Still, it was amusing to have Mike show up at my door, and ask if I’d help. We walked back to the office to use cute guy’s big map and Mike introduced me to “big Frank, the God of travel.” Cute young guy chimed in, “Well, meet the Godess of travel!” Quite an introduction from a guy I met 24 hrs ago. Admittedly, cute guy and I have hit it off and have shared park stories, but this was a whole new charming. Frank and I did a play face off and Frank lead with “show me what you got Goddess.” While I hate the use of “lol”… LOL.
So big Frank, who is in fact about 6’3”, and huge, with a Harley t-shirt and big muscles, continues: “they tell me you really know this park Dawn, can you help us plan our trip.” THIS whole scene was amusing, even for jaded me. Forget cliches, big Frank was a big pussycat, from upstate NY. He and Mike made fun of the sox in bad Boston accent imitations, to rattle me and see if I’d whimper, but chuckled and gave up when I gave them a spot on “Don’t you know it” in my best NY accent (which, is good). Frank’s wife had joined us by now and was asking all kinds of questions… but Frank just said “We’re gonna do what Dawn says” and that was the end of all discussion. Mike and Frank thanked me, gave me that hand sign that any good Hawaiian knows means “hang ten, take it easy”, and left me laughing with cute desk guy. By then, I was starving and asked for burger advice from cute guy. He gave me the town map and sent me on what ended up being a wild goose chase. I made the mistake of going to the market first, to get a few quick essentials, and then trying to find a place called “the lounge”, the cute guy said had real burgers and was quieter. Headache demanded quieter, stomach wanted real burgers, not frozen patties.
However, even with a map, I could not find this place. I found the local theater, which was doing a live performance of Joseph and the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (right at the good part when Pharoah does Elvis) and I couldn’t help but watch for a few minutes. Having seen Donny Osmond in the role, twice, I feel I can say: this was a damned good little performance. But, I was hungry and set out again to find the lounge. I was walking down this dark street, back an forth and finally a shadow, who had been loading his car, said “do you need some help”… it occurred to me that it was dark and who knows who he was, but I stopped and admitted to being very lost. Slap me now, because this man was movie star gorgeous! Rugged, salt and pepper short cut, with a day of face hair, built and super smile… I was dying to ask him if he did any fly fishing. My age and fine, fine, fine… nice to see stepping out of a dark street. He didn’t know where “the lounge” was but chatted with me for longer than we needed to and suggested another place, across the street. This guy was flirting so nicely, I ALMOST forgot the burger. When I crossed the street, the place was just turning their “closed” sign over. “Need another suggestion” cute guy my age called, across the street. Oh so tempting, but I just thanked him and pretended to know where I was walking to.
Who do I run in to next? Biker Mike. He’s on his way to buy fruit at the market… “hey Dawn! Travel Goddess, it’s me, Mike.” he calls out. Cute guy my age looked over and waved, as he drove off. I just wanted a burger so badly by then! But before you know it, Mike is telling me all about how he doesn’t really fit in with the other bikers (he’s “new to it, the others have been riding together for years”); he sure wishes he had his ex and 3 grown kids with him (um, what would current biker girlfriend think of that, he told me about gf too); all the places they stopped on their way out (Badlands, Sturgis, Devil’s claw); and he’s wondering why I’m all alone. Well Mike, I’m alone because I like to be alone. I am polite, even friendly, but I tell Mike I need a hamburger before I die. However, every place in town, except for one bar, that I just couldn’t handle, was closed.
For the first time in umpteen years, I ate a Dairy Queen burger, in my room… broke my solemn vow to not eat fast food. It’s been about 8 yrs since I’ve eaten at a McDonalds, and this was awfully close… But damn, when you need a burger, you need a burger. Arriving back to my cottage, Frank and some buddies were sitting outside talking. “Night Dawn! Thanks for all the help” he yelled. I sat alone in my unit, eating that burger, and it tasted good.