Diary of the Dutchmen: Days 7-8

Grizzly Bear at Yellowstone

Lacrosse All Stars Grow The Game Tour

Thursday, Oct. 4

We planned to wake up around 7 or 8am this morning to head into Yellowstone National Park from Grizzly RV Park.  It was a real carpe diem approach, but it turned out to be a dream.  We ended up getting to a local diner at about 10am for some pancakes and coffee blasts.  We had a huge day in Yellowstone ahead of us, so the blasts came early and often.

By 11am, we entered Yellowstone and were all excited to pet some buffalo and wild goats. To kick things off, we checked out a hot geyser.  All I could think about was Gushers and how anyone who takes more than one bite to eat a Gusher cannot be trusted (@h0legart).  Then we decided to climb some massive rock formations; we thought it’d be cool to toss a lacrosse ball back and forth from cliff to cliff.  Another dream.  We lost about 10 balls and it turned into rock climbing with lacrosse sticks.


Next we hit this mysterious rock formation/waterfall.  One woman walked by, looked at me holding my stick, and said with complete confidence, “oh, a hockey player.”  Little moments like those let us know that we really are bringing the game into uncharted territories.  One Yellowstone patron, however, did know the sport.  He had a laugh watching us as we took a bizarre bathroom break at a restroom overlooking a giant waterfall.  Here’s the footage.

After the bathroom break things started to get interesting.  We got out of the RV to get close to some buffalo, and a grizzly walked right across the street about 30 yards away. It was a special experience, and I came to realize how huge buffalos’ heads are.  It seems like it’s a burden for them to carry around such massive domes.  They pull it off though.  Our final stop for the day was along the shore of Yellowstone Lake.  MP had a neat idea to take pictures in the head lights of the RV, and they turned out to be really cool.

Grizzly Bear at Yellowstone

Friday, Oct. 5

After spending another night in the Grizzly RV Park, we were borderline veterans of the establishment.  We knew the code to the bathrooms by heart (2-5) and we had the unquestioned respect of the community at large.  For this reason it was with great sadness that we said farewell and headed north.  We had a short stop at Old Faithful planned, but the true entertainment came in the RV.

At around 8:30 am, with the morning mist still floating, we were stopped in a traffic jam of buffalo.  Hundreds of these big craniumed fellas filled the road and surrounding grass.  I couldn’t tell if they were just getting back from partying the night before or if they were rising early, but either way it was one hell of a sight.  Eventually they let us pass through to Old Faithful.

MP got some footage of the geyser blasting off, but the rest of us showed up a minute too late.  We settled for watching the video and headed to the Luscious Treat Bakery in West Yellowstone to fuel up for the trip to Missoula, Montana.  The cashier was very much like this man.

After a 5 hour drive through Big Sky Country, we pulled into the University of Montana for the Missoula Elite 100 clinic.  We were pumped to meet some members of the Montana lacrosse community and its godfather Kevin Flynn.  The clinic went well and it was evident that these Montana folks had as much passion for the sport as anyone.  The University of Montana fields are tucked in some gorgeous mountains, so I found myself looking off into the distance a lot more than I did back in my days in New Haven, CT.

We were fascinated to learn that lacrosse participation has grown 4615% in Montana over the past 2 years, and I don’t see that slowing down any time soon.  The GTG gang also got a chance to meet UVA alum Ken Clausen.  I thought he would have fit in well with the gang and tried to pressure him into joining the tour, but he had to fly out early the next day.  Tomorrow the Missoula Elite 100 continues and we’ll get the chance to watch some men’s MCLA live action.  I’m worried about spending almost a full day outside the RV.

I’m pretty deep into the motor home lifestyle, so I get the shakes when I’m outside the Dutchie for more than 10 minutes.