GARDINER, MONTANA – Greetings from a Super 8 motel…
I’m writing to you from our room next to Yellowstone National Park…
The kids are eating TV dinners and frozen burritos at the little table. I’m writing this message to you by hand on one of the beds. It’s dumping snow outside and the temperature is well below freezing…
Here we are in the Super 8, eating our hobo dinner…
TV dinner and frozen burritos at the Super 8
Five months ago, we set out to explore America by car.
We drove by day. We slept in a tent by night. We only used back roads, never interstates. And we stayed in America’s heartland, never reaching a coast.
We slept in barns, horse pastures, parking lots, driveways, campgrounds, county fairgrounds, etc.
We saw the amber fields of grain, the purple mountain majesties, the halcyon skies and the enameled plains. We saw the great cornfields of Iowa and the Great Lakes of Michigan… the forests, the rivers, the great grasslands…
Today, we completed our American road trip “bucket list” with a trip to the super-volcano in Yellowstone…
We saw Old Faithful erupt. (It erupted five minutes after we arrived.)
Old Faithful erupts
Then we spent the rest of the day exploring the hot springs and boiling mud “paint pots”…
This is the Grand Prismatic Spring… the largest hot spring in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. It’s as deep as a 10-story building and as big as a football field…
Grand Prismatic Spring, largest hot spring in America and third-largest in the world
We got blasted with hot steam…
A Dyson family portrait
Yellowstone is one of the most dangerous national parks.
Each year, people die when they step off the walkways and onto the thin crust of earth that hides the boiling, acid mud. When it cracks, they fall in and get scalded to death.
There were warning signs everywhere…
Many tourists have died in Yellowstone. They try to walk near these springs, the thin layer of crust cracks, and they fall into the boiling mud beneath
It’s otherworldly. Yellowstone has a smell you never forget. (The smell is sulfur.)
Yellowstone is an otherworldly place
As we drove out of the park, it started to snow. The kids were overjoyed…
Miles makes the most of the snowstorm
But the snow accumulated so quickly, they closed the road and we had to wait for a snow plough to get us out…
They closed the road and we had to wait for a snow plough to get us out of Yellowstone
We loved every minute of our adventure. Tomorrow, we’re planning to spend a second day in Yellowstone.
(We get into all national parks for FREE because we have a child in the fourth grade. All American fourth graders get a free national park pass.)
It’s still snowing, though, and I wonder if they’ll open the park. We’ll see…
– Tom Dyson
P.S. In nearly 40 years of publishing, my friend and mentor Bill Bonner has received death threats… been targeted by radical far-left protests… denounced by right wingers… and one outraged reader even suggested the U.S. Air Force should bomb his offices. But none of these obstacles have stopped him. In fact, Bill recently released his most controversial book to date.
It explains much of what’s going on in the world today – including the lie behind America’s current monetary system (and how to protect yourself from the likely outcome)… how the government has set up investors for a decade of lost returns (and how you can avoid the worst of it)… and the dark shape of what’s coming as governments try desperately to maintain control of an increasingly dangerous financial system. To claim your own hardcover copy before they’re all gone, read on here.
The bitcoin controversy rages on… Faithful readers beg Tom to keep the postcards going… And others offer more snow-survival tips for the whole family…
Reader comment: You queried, “What could be softer than an invisible clump of electrons with absolutely no value supporting it…?” I would think that since all bank accounts represent bits and bytes for customer revenue streams, debit card activities making invisible clumps of electrons have tremendous value supporting the activity.
Who uses cash anymore, particularly with the governments strenuously attempting (and succeeding) to force us into a cashless society so as to keep strict Orwellian tabs on us? After all, since taxes and death are the only guaranteed factors of living, and they already have their talons fiercely stabbing human life in the abortion industry, why impede the culture of death? It is the liberal raison d’etre.
Tom’s response: Cash will become extinct soon. In the future, we’ll say, “Remember when we used paper bills to pay for things?”
Reader comment: Please keep telling your story, even though you and your family have settled down for the winter. I’ve come to look forward to your email at the end of the day. I feel like I’ve come to know your whole family, so it would be like losing friends if you stopped writing.
Why don’t you spend a little time telling us how each of your kids is different? Show how they’re learning to ski. You’ve made a great travel journal, so why not now write a “settling down” journal? Just keep going the way you’ve started. Just keep following your gut, like you’ve been doing so far. Don’t stop. As long as you sound genuine and authentic, I will keep reading, whether you guys are moving or staying still.
P.S. Why not make some videos of the kids learning to ski? You’ve got a real memorable story going here; don’t lose it. I’m following your unfolding story as if I’m reading a novel. Don’t stop writing your novel until you reach the end!
Tom’s response: Thank you for this kind and encouraging message. It’s messages like this (and the ones below) that keep me going. I’ve said this before, but if it weren’t for the response of readers – encouraging us and supporting us – I would have stopped writing months ago.
Reader comment: Hi Tom, just keep writing. One or two times a week will keep your faithful readers happy. We want to know how the family does learning to ski and we want to know how you adjust to staying in one place. Keep the Postcards coming.
Reader comment: Thank you for all of the descriptions during your travels… Why stop now? Please continue to write about your day-to-day adventures as you acclimate to living in one spot in a ski resort. Many of your readers might enjoy descriptions and pictures of your experiences in Driggs. I have stayed at my cousin’s A-frame just south of Victor, en route to Pocatello, and can attest to the beauty of waking up seeing the Grand Tetons each day looking west to east! The Jackson Hole area and the proximity to the national parks will be wonderful.
Reader comment: Hi Tom, I’ve enjoyed following your family’s epic trips throughout the world. But everything must come to an end. You can always impart on a new adventure and share with everyone in your Postcards. It doesn’t have to do with traveling but something interesting, like how your family learns to ski or what makes you happy. Many of us are all stressed out and having tough times economically. Would love to hear a good story.
Reader comment: Dear Tom Dyson: What? You’re going to just dump us in a snowbank after getting us addicted to your emails? Leave us forever wondering what happened next? We can’t wait to hear what is going to happen next to the economy. What should we do if everything crashes and nobody else will tell us how to be poor or how to recover if Trump turns America into a dictatorship? I think we should vote about this before you decide.
Reader comment: Hi Tom and family. I grew up in North Dakota and worked outdoors there, giving me a lot of experience with cold weather. I found the best way to handle it is to deliberately make yourself cold in the fall and early winter. When the weather starts turning cold, dress lightly, without that sweater, or with a light jacket instead of a heavy warmer one.
Make yourself shiver! Your body will acclimate to the cooler weather much faster and better, so that when the really cold weather arrives, it won’t feel so cold and will be much more enjoyable.
You can’t really understand cold weather until you’ve lived in it. When the temperatures get into negative double digits in January and February, you’ll be glad you acclimated yourselves. Prepare yourselves, and once again, endeavor to persevere. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us
Reader comment: Hi Tom. I’ve really enjoyed your Postcards for the last 12+ months. I have great respect for you and your family. I also agree with your investing thesis, although it’s hard to stay patient and not scream at the wall at some of the nonsense that the Federal Reserve and government are trying to “sell.” What an adventure!
I live in Calgary so I’m pretty familiar with the winter thing. For winter, I’m a cotton guy. I find the polar fleece and nylon stuff doesn’t breathe very well so I don’t find it as comfortable. Merino wool can be a good option if it doesn’t make you itch. Lands’ End has the nicest flannel shirts, flannel lined pants (OMG, you’ll love these), and mock or full turtlenecks.
They have a new 100% cotton weave for their t-shirts and turtlenecks they call super-soft Supima cotton, which has a bit of stretch to it. Really soft, warm, and comfy. They always have a bunch of stuff they have limited sizes of, or they’re discontinuing the color, or whatever, that can be discounted up to 70%. They have a sale around Thanksgiving… You could feel like you’re stealing, some things are so cheap. Get on their mailing list and you might be able to outfit the troop pretty cost effectively. Their customer service is outstanding. They’ll pay the cost of return shipping, etc.
Tom’s note: As always, thank you for your messages. Please keep them coming at [email protected].