marcia, fred and potatoes
July 21, 2015 - group portrait
almost exactly one year ago we travelled the u.s., seven states in about three weeks: california, oregon, idaho, wyoming, montana, utah, nevada. it was another u.s. trip before when i started my personal ‘strangers’ project when i made a two weeks road trip all by my own through the california gold country, to and fro the sierra and socal. the pictures and stories i collected in a book. this is how it all started for me. if you are on road trip for several weeks you meet many people. in stores, restaurants, motels, on the streets, in the woods, on mountains and trails, at lakes … and even on the moon.
this is where we met marcia and fred for the first time. like we did they stopped their car, a very nice flat mint green limousine, roadside for taking pictures of the craters of the moon, a national monument and preserve in idaho. it is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush, quite a weird and scenic landscape, hard to find somewhere else in this world. and it is in the middle of nowhere in the high desert. only a few other people we met around this place. marcia and fred, who live in tennesse, where on a road trip as well for about a week or so after a family visit in another state. we quickly started chitchatting, where from and where to etc. what a friendly and cheerful couple! we said goodbye with sharing blessings for the trip and rest of our lives …
until we met fred and marcia again in a tourist information centre in the same area but hours later. what a nice coincidence. so we had the chance to insify our talk. they told us that they would visit yellowstone in a few days what we also had on our bucket list, which wasn’t too surprising. you cannot go to idaho and miss smellystone. we again said godbye wishing all the best, fun and awesome experiences in yellowstone. days later, don’t know how many, we reached yellowstone. we stayed in a tent camp out of west yellowstone on level country with breathtaking views on the mountains. we took day trips in the park to cover as much territory as possible to see as many places, craters, gysers, forests, vista points, lakes, rivers, wild animals and picturesque views as possible. and so did many many other people. yellowstone is a crowded place. to be honest, when we planned the trip i didn’t feel like going there. i love empty places, like the imperial and death valley. but, hell, yellowstone is worth to muddle through the crowd, seriously. i won’t tease (or bore) you with singing odes about its beauty but tell you the biggest astonishment we where lucky to exprience.
when we came to one of the largest basin areas all parking places already had been taken. so we needed to wait in line for the next to squeeze in. and when we looked out of the window we saw the very nice flat mint green limousine of marcia and fred. they where right in front of us, no doubt. what a wonderful surprise. we even managed to find a parking place close to them and when they saw us they broke out in laughter. so we had another chance to talk longer, we took the board walk together to see the blue and red and orange basins, we checked against each other what wild animals we alread saw (the won, because they had a grizzly on the list). we finally exchanged address and phone numbers, took pictures and actually didn’t say goodbye very seriously. we expected to see each other again very quickly. which astonishingly didn’t happen so far in person.
since then we are in contact via socal media, the follow our strangers-project and so we can meet each other as often we want at least virtually. we shared our pictures we took along our trips and our memories. meanwhile i learnt that marcia and fred have been married only a few years, which explains partly why the appeared so cheerful and happy. but the main reason is their bright personalities, warm-hearty, open-minded and inviting. each stranger i ever met and took a picture of is special, but some of them are more special. thank you, marcia and fred! when we think of idaho we always have you in our mind. and potatoes.