This is a week of people doing more; of going out of their way, of inviting us to stay, of strangers reaching out to us and offering us dinner, of new friends offering us a place to stay further on in the trip.
Put your fate in the hands of a stranger and they just might surprise you. People are kind, people are generous and people want to help.
After a crazy night of no sleep and a crazy day of crappy truckers and a Skype interview for Tales of Adventure, arriving at Jake’s clean and cool apartment where we could shower and feel human again was absolute bliss! He took us to Red Rocks for dinner and beer and then to a bar (via going back to his place to get our IDs – yes we forgot them again and have not learned!). After spending the night chatting to Jake, we quickly realised that he’s a friend, not just a host and boy did we sleep well!
The Utah Arts Festival was on and we spent the night drinking beer, crying about Brexit and jigging to The Young Dubliners. Jake got us amazing pizza for dinner and lots of beer (unfortunately he had to keep running up because in Utah if you’re from out of the state, you need your passport as ID!)
We mentioned that we wanted to get to Yellowstone National Park. Jake thought for a moment then said he’d not been there in years and would love to go again so would take the Monday off work and we would go for the weekend!
It was definitely a sad moment saying goodbye in middle-of-nowhere Dubois.
Brandon & Elisio
These guys picked us up in Salt Lake City and took us out to The Great Salt Lake sharing their Chex Mix and Pringles and driving up and down the highway until they found a good spot to drop us off! It’s amazing how many people go out of their way to really help you out.
Belgium Tour Bus
The tour guide of the bus was a fellow Couchsurfer and was definitely of the spirit of helping people out! Although the Belgians did boo us when they found out we were English (Brexit) … we definitely appreciated the ride.
Wonderful Zach. We received a message on Couchsurfing in answer to a Yellowstone post saying that he couldn’t take us to Yellowstone but had read our blog and would love to take us for dinner! He’d chosen Red Iguana and it was probably some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had. The waitress even gave us some free fried ice cream because our faces looked so incredulous! We spent the evening discussing life (things got deep) and laughing A LOT. Zach taught us the Traffic Light Hand Tap (when you’re driving through traffic lights, if it turns amber, you have to tap out your name using the dash – down for consonant and up for vowels). We were both sad to say bye to Zach and we exchanged numbers and hoped to meet again.
James & Stefan
We met James & Stefan in Yellowstone National Park whilst trying to find someone to share a campsite pitch with (pitches were up to 6 people and all the campsites were full!). We spent most of the evening laughing (mainly at James’ amazing southern accent) and drank a lot of liquor. Neither of us had imagined that we’d be getting shitfaced in a National Park. It made exploring Yellowstone very interesting with a crazy hangover and the smell of eggy geysers. They sent us off with some poptarts, apple sauce and protein bars. They live in Tennessee and told us to look them up when we get down south!
Corinna & Sydney
Corinna and her daughter Sydney picked us up in Dubois whilst we were looking very worse for wear after Yellowstone. It was getting late and we’d started to think that we might have to camp in Dubois and try again in the morning. Corinna and her husband lived on a 800 acre cattle ranch in Lima with 500 cows and 6 miles from the nearest town. Within minutes of getting in the car and chatting, they offered us a place to stay with a hot dinner and a hot shower. We even had our own three bedroom house! The rolling hills of Montana were green and so beautiful. We couldn’t believe our luck and a shower never felt so good. Sydney picked us up for dinner on a four wheeler. Sydney and her parents were lovely company and it was great fun chatting to them over a hot delicious meal. Sydney even dropped us further north in the morning in Dillon where she lives and studies.
We were trying to get to Butte to get on interstate 90 west. Roy picked us up in Dillon and said that he could drop us half way to Butte. He drove straight past his turning, exclaiming that he couldn’t leave us there in the middle of nowhere and ended up taking us all the way to Butte! What a doll. Roy is a grandfather who loves country music and dancing.
Andy immediately made a good impression. Approaching us, introducing himself and shaking our hands. We spent the journey listening to Spectrum radio station and we stopped in Missoula for an amazing Mexican lunch. Andy seemed genuinely amazed at our trip! He said that if we didn’t mind waiting whilst he went in Axmen (an “everything store” and a Museum of Work History) for work then he could take us all the way to Spokane in Washington State. Woohoo! We’re always willing to wait for a nice ride. After a tour of historic Wallace, a delicious drive through coffee and over 300 miles later, we arrived in Spokane. Andy had even tried to find us a bed for the night! We exchanged numbers and sadly parted ways. Andy suggested that we stay with him and his wife in Battle Ground when we get to the west coast. There’s a pattern emerging this week.
After being kicked off the property of the gas station where Andy dropped us, we precariously stood on a spot of road, not quite on the highway and not quite on the property of the gas station with the sun beating vehemently down on our heads. It was not a great spot. There was no where for vehicles to pull over unless they’re crazy and stop on the side of the on ramp to the i-90! We resigned to the fact that we probably wouldn’t get all the way to Seattle tonight but let’s at least try and get a ways west. Luckily a crazy trucker called Randy stopped for us! It was pretty hilarious running up the on ramp with all our stuff towards a huge white truck. He was a ball of energy and generally excited by life. Randy wanted to drop us in Ellensburg because he had to go through scales soon after and couldn’t have us found in the truck. We convinced him that we’ve just hid in the back before and it’s been fine! He was convinced and ended up taking us all the way to Issaquah in Seattle! AMAZING.
This was a week of people going above and beyond; from a Couchsurfing host not only letting us stay in their home but feeding and watering us so well and taking us to Yellowstone National Park, to the many drivers that drove us well beyond their destinations, to new friends who offered us places to stay further on in our trip and to drivers that opened up their homes and gave us a bed for the night. People are good. The kindness of strangers is so overwhelming. What an incredible week. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.