Chapter 2-3: Yellowstone here I come!

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

I slept fitfully and was woken around one am by a group of young Canadians partying a short distance away. Through the crisp, cold night air, I heard a young man say, "There's a girl camping over there all by herself." Needless to say, I did not sleep too well for the rest of the night. It did not help that a fellow graduate student had spent the previous two weeks trying to dissuade me from traveling to Yellowstone by myself, regaling me with horror stories of young, single women being raped and murdered on lonely highways. So, as soon as the sun peeked over the horizon, undeterred, I packed up my tent and continued south towards the border with the United States.

As I approached the small town of Consul, just north of the US-Canadian border the Chevy began to make horrible noises, clicking, clanking and grinding away. I pulled into the solitary gas station to refuel and spent five minutes searching for the gas cap. I finally had to ask the attendant for help. He went straight to the rear of the car, lifted up the license plate and showed me the gas cap. He also suggested I check the level of oil because he had heard me clanking into town from over a mile away. The oil gage read empty and he filled the Chevy up with four quarts of oil and recommended that I top her up with a quart of oil every hundred miles otherwise the engine might seize up. Now I registered the importance of lubrication on the operation of the combustion engine. The Chevy sounded much better as I pulled away from the gas station on the start of an epic two thousand mile journey!