After a really fun weekend in Seattle area with my old friends from elementary school, Trung and I set off on a 12 hour road trip to Yellowstone. I’ve been wanting to come up where for a long time and never found a convenient time to go or someone to go with. Now that I don’t work- Yellowstone is perfect.
Trung and I download a comprehensive camping list. We start packing all sorts of stuff I never thought I would need. A bucket. String. Duct tape. Compass. The list goes on and on.
I wake up at 8am… Pack some stuff and then make breakfast. I make the left over beef pho and then we head out.
Bring me- I forgot my glasses and toothbrush and we go back to the house. 30 minutes lost.
We drive for about an hour, stop for Starbucks and then keep going. I drive down a hill and get a glimpse of two SUVs on the opposite side of the median. Crap. How fast am I going? Crap- 80 ish. I hit the brakes and look in my mirror for the cop to turn around. He does. He catches up and the red and blues are flashing.
Shoot. Oh well. There goes $$$$. He pulls up and asks me to get out of the car. I thank my lucky stars that I’m Asian and not a threat. I walk over and he tells me I’m being recorded. Ok.
Me-“Yes- I was speeding”
“Do you know how fast?”
“Can I see your license?” – I hand him my license.
“Where you going?”
Me-“road trip to Yellowstone”
“Why were you driving so fast?”
Me- “no reason. I should know better. I’m driving my friends car and I was coming down the hill and trying to break but not that well.”
“How old are you?”
Me-“36. I know. I’m old enough to know better.”
“Who are you traveling with?”
“My friend Trung troung.”
“How well do you know him? ”
“We went to college together. 16 years”
We do more chatting and then he talks to Trung in the passenger seat. He asks for registration and insurance.
He comes back to me and asks what I do for work. I tell him I quit my job and am trying to find something else. Life choices and figure out stuff, hence Yellowstone.
He says – drive slower. Don’t speed. I say I will. “Have a good day. You can go now.”
I walk back to the car and sit there. Trung is in disbelief. Did I get a ticket? No. Thank god. I didn’t have the money for a ticket. Hey everyone! Honesty pays off!! Hip hop hooray!
We keep driving towards Idaho and decide to stop at a nuclear reactor tourist site. 20 minutes on the way there and we realize you have to do a 4 hour your. Ain’t nobody got time for that. We turn around and decide to get lunch.
The Check engine light comes on. Really?? We drive to oreillys and they say they never seen that code. P0126. A quick Google search shows that it’s 90%chance it’s the thermostat.
We are 3-4 hours away from Boise Idaho. The two shops in this road stop town are busy till tomorrow. The mechanic says we can make it if we drive slow and monitor the temp and pull over if need be. We keep ok truck in’.
I use Yelp and find a shop in Boise. 5 stars. I call the guy and explain our situation and that we are trying to get to Yellowstone. He says we can bring it in first thing in the morning and he will get a tech on it. I call 3 other places and they all are about $100 more expensive. We decide to use my hotel points and we stay at holiday inn at Boise. It’s a nice city and we make it there without issue.
Next morning bright and early I get to the shop at 7:55am. They fix everything within 3 hours and we are a GO!
We leave Boise about 11am and then drive straight to Jackson (just south of grand Teton national park).
It starts to rain as soon as we get to the camp site. I frantically start to put up the tent. I lose a pole and can’t find it. Trung had dropped it somewhere. We search for a while and I finally find it under the tent. Go figure. The last pole goes up in the middle of the tent to create a gap for rain protection. When I’m done there’s a nice puddle where I’m gonna sleep. I use a shammy to clean it up.
We finally drive to the park and watch twiligh turn into darkness. We hear some animals in the background and stare at the bright night sky.
Back at the campsite we make a fire and some dinner. It’s nice to relax.