#77 In Roads-Goodwill Ambassador


Cruising the mountains has been blissful. Not talking to people has made it all the better. Waterfalls, snow capped peaks and sparkling lakes have consumed me. There has, however, been no cell service, no Internet and, consequentially, missed deadlines. Knowing I have to meet someone has become an issue. It’s eating at me. Added to the irritation is the fact that I’m not really enjoying the 50-bijillion Yellowstone tourists, one of who almost pitched me into one of the boiling geysers after a body slam. I’ve hiked up to check out the geysers and escape the hoards. Plopping down to take a breather at the top of the hill, a small child and his mother come quietly to sit next to me. The precious little boy says hello in a sweet accent, I respond in English. He chatters in French and shows me three fingers. Mom laughs. She explains that he’s trying to convince me that he’s six years old even though he’s holding up three fingers.

Young Liam has come to America with his French Polynesian family for five weeks. They started in Canada and will end their vacation in San Diego. Mom shares that they have been to the states before and will return again once the children are older since they’ve discovered that hiking with 5 and 3-year olds is difficult.

“He’s very good,” she explains in broken English, “but my husband has to carry him while I help our daughter.” She holds her palms up and shrugs. She tells about their previous trip to Utah and how they love the beauty of our country. When they return they’d like to hike Glacier and come back to experience Yellowstone’s trails again. As we chat, Liam greets passing people by waving and saying hello. Occasionally he tries to tell them his age. No one responds to the cute little one, but it doesn’t matter. He continues as a cheerful ambassador. I’m discovering that I enjoy it most when others reach out to me first. Even if they’re only three.


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