Our jet-lag had got us by the tails. We all woke up at different times. All of us woke up before 5 am. The plan was wake up at 6:30, but our bodies were still in Mumbai Time!
After breakfast and checking out, we sat in the warmth of a fire that had been set up. There is nothing quite as soothing as the warmth of a fire, the crackling sound it makes, the randomness in its designs and patterns. It really calmed us all down as we waited for a van to take us to the rent-a-car.
Ruhi and I browsed through their cars, and finally settled on a Ford Escape. Owing to its huge trunk, comfortable seats, and – most importantly – in-built navigation system, we thought it was perfect. The person at the counter happened to be from Goregaon, so we got chatting. Delightful person. He took me through it all in Gujrati, which I understand, but can’t quite speak much.
I turned and the engine purred to life. We were on our way. At around 9 a.m., we set out to White Sulphur Springs, on way to Yellowstone, USA.
The road was mostly flat. If you live in India, you have never seen this much flat land in your life. There were no mountains for miles. The ground was brownish-yellow, but I suspect that if one goes in the correct season, it would all be lush and green.
As we got closer, the view got better. The mountains started coming in, and with them, the snow. There is nothing like the feeling of snow: its shining white colour, the cold it brings along with it, the warmth you get from the inside… one can never get enough. I hadn’t expected this. By my plans, we were to come back up north via the snow, but I had not anticipated this beauty at all.
There were vast stretches of road where we were the only car on the road. No one else seemed to want to be here, and that really surprises me. It was also sort of soothing. We had a little joke in the car where we would start clapping and cheering when we saw a car.
All said and done, the car ride from Calgary to White Sulphur Springs, Montana, U.S.A. was about 10 hours. Adding to that the eleven hour layover we had at Heathrow Airport the previous day, and the two nine hour flights it took to get here, it’s safe to say we were all tired out of our minds.
The Motel we stayed at, Spa Hot Springs Motel, was special. It had three pools with pure natural sulphur spring water, each pool set to a different temperature. The lowest was 98 degrees Fahrenheit.
We got into our swimming suits and to the pools. You will never have a more soothing experience in your life. I don’t know what it is – the high temperature or the Sulphur, but my God, such a refreshing experience.
Tiredness if any vanished. It was so good, for a moment I considered changing our route so that we could come back to this place on our return route to the Canadian Rockies. Alas, that cannot be. We have better things planned for the way back. More exciting news to come!