Saturday, May 6, 2017

Yellow stone park ( Last part of the East to West Coast road trip)


I should have done this sooner.

Yellow stone greeted us with every weather element on the earth: First, it's a snow blizzard, next with pouring rain all over the sky followed by the steaminess from the ground, then heavy hail, suddenly the sun came up out of nowhere shining brightly. In a short notice, it changed back to being windy, thunder storming, smoking, fogginess,  then somehow raining again, but at the end luckily, the rest of our time in Yellow stone was welcomed by the sun.
But 
The best part is how we got there
we didn't want to pay the toll fees. So we chose the long way, and yet, it was an amazing adventure.
Have you ever seen two cows " having some sexy time",  You might see it already but certainly, it was my "first time" (wink wink). Unless they have animal porn or documentaries... (wink wink) 
Have you seen people riding horses, carriages, on the street like their normal daily lives?  I bet you haven't
Have you seen 2 little farm boys standing by, posing as 2 soldiers saluting outside of their farm house to say hi to all the cars driving by?
 Have you seen American ghost movies and then wonder if American towns would be looking like that? For ex: supernatural movie. The answer is yes. I drove by some towns that we even asked ourselves if somebody would get out and shoot us. 
I bet you never saw the scene of heavy lightning strikes seemingly so close in the middle of the empty lands, making your heart pound, knowing that the only safe shelter available is your car.  Have you ever seen it raining so hard on your left and sunny like summer on your right in the middle of nowhere?  And not so far away in front of you, mountains covered in the heavy snow showing up clearly. Sometimes the thunderstorms would randomly start and then suddenly stop, just like that, the sky kept teasing us throughout all of our trip. It was a thrilling feeling, I admit I was scared, I was scared of how big the earth is, and how small I am, like a piece of sand in a dessert, a fish in the ocean, a star in the galaxy. All I could see were open fields, mountains, clouds, sky, and far away land. No people, just our car, rolling on the road. I need to quote some lyrics right here, like " roaming on the road, only me with my car, oh dear a lonely traveler". But too bad,  I don't remember any single words from any song. Good thing I still have my sense that this moment was majestic, yet too scary at the same time. A sense of awe flowed through me. All I could see were endless meadows that seem never ending. I told myself if this is only half of America, I wondered what the rest of the world would be like. My inner travel child aches so badly when thinking about it, the craving of wanting to see all of the world. But I know, this is my destiny, when the time comes it comes. Who knows when is the second time I will have myself a trip like this, life for sure will drag us back to its constant hustling pace. This trip will most likely sink into oblivion. For the time being, I did what I did the best, curling myself in our cramped car and delighted me in the sceneries in this present time.
We ended our trip to Yellow stone with heavy rain on a nearby mountain late at night, again, this time it was raining so hard, I couldn't see anything in front, a blurred background, that seems like it had been waiting to jump at you, this was another level of me being scared. I realized how much I feared death. I always prepared myself mentally towards death. I could die at any moment and death is beautiful, but if I'm being honest, I still am scared of death, no, more like I'm scared of how I would die. I have a lot of anxieties, not too bad though.I'm sure it will get better someday. Funny story, when my man started walking to a gas station to pay for gas, he decided to go to the restroom a little bit, AT like 11 pm in the middle of somewhere in Montana, mind you, at the time I was already an entry level beginner Redditor, and let me tell you, I read a ton of Reddit's stories of how scary a rural areas like this is and so I was scared shitless when he didn't come back in what seem like thousands of years have passed by. Turns out this man had some chit chat with a clerk inside, while I was outside having a good imagining time of how I was gonna die or save this man or survive myself hahaha. good time!
Not long after that, we were the only ones on the road again, this time it was purely dark, no cars around, just us, driving, when I saw some lights driving by, I felt like they were my companions, my friends, and how nice it is to be driving together on the road in the dark.
We decided this is the rare occasion that we could have. So we decided to pull off on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere, nobody around, it was pitch dark, and when I looked up, my tears came out, stars, Oh how long since I haven't seen this many stars! They were all shining through the clear sky, asking me where have I gone all those years?
.......
oh, Da Nang,  when I was in grade 1, my hometown was still a poor city, so there wasn't that much light, my hobby every night was walking up to our family's balcony floor and looking at stars, immersing myself into the stars of heaven, with my grandpa next to me. My grandpa lived in the North of Viet Nam. Every summer he visited our family, he would use our small camp folding bed,  he would lay there, trilling his poems and watching the stars with me. Yes, I used to be an elementary kid who loves writing poems.  He has now passed last year, and I wasn't there at his ceremony. When I started growing, we started growing distant. He was my only grandpa that was still alive, or at least, the one that I can be able to recall the face and memories with. To be honest, I never got along well or had a really close family time together with him as I was growing up. You know the thing people say, the intense conflict between younger and older generations gets bigger when the younger gets older, that's how we are. I no longer love making poems, he, however, gasped his last breath with poem lyrics.  he lived in the North of Viet Nam, I lived in the central. But family is family, no matter how much you don't like them, you can't avoid them, there is blood connected through us, love still wins the game. As cold as I sound, I never miss him, I know he is in a way better place then the earth, or maybe, he is working his way back to this life but whatever it is, that moment, his image in my scattered childhood memories flashes back. 

This time, I saw a galaxy filled with an infinity of stars sparkling above my head, then I saw shooting stars passing by, in a second,  another glamorous shooting star streaked through the blackness, followed by its siblings fleeting all over the sky. At this point, you must be thinking "Oh I might try to make this blog sound more like literature, so I made up the shooting stars rain." I guess you are right then... hahaha (jk), but I was speechless still. It isn't rare to see, honestly if you are living in a town with no light with a night like this. But I took it as a sign that this trip ended in the most perfect way it could.
I was sad on the way back home, leaving my travels behind, almost 2 weeks constantly on the road made me realize how I love being on the road, not knowing what's gonna happen the next day, no itinerary, just go, heading home. But again, isn't it home already?

For the Yellow stone part, you just have to go there and get amazed like how I was. No words could describe how mother nature has generously endowed the beautiful gift for us. Every place we went through, every scene we saw was majestic art pieces from our mother nature. It was heartbreakingly beautiful.  We hiked under the rain, embracing the sunburn on the endless valleys, sipping my premade tea earlier that morning from our motel, breathing all the steam from the geysers and clean fresh air from the valleys, letting the wind blow through my hair, it was a momentous moment for me. The scenery, the animals, the meadows, the mountains, the clouds, the rocks. What on earth Have we done to deserve this? and what on Earth have we been doing to reject what life has been gifting to us? 
My tip:
1. Skip Old faithful geyser,  leave it as your last minute destination because that's not something worth your time, unless you show up right on time when it's about to blow. HOWEVER, the morning glory pool is located pretty close to the Old faithful, to witness this beauty you have to walk about 20-30' and it's way more worth it than the Old faithful ( you will see a lot of small geysers on the  walk too) , but again, waiting for the Old Faithful to explode is pretty much wasting your time because its eruption is like a girl on her period, sometimes it erupts right on time, sometimes way earlier. In my case, it was like waiting for my bus that gets stuck in traffic somewhere and never arriving. Unless you have plenty of time to kill there then by all means go ahead and wait! Otherwise, go see the morning glory pool first, walk around, seeing all the small geysers ( which the duration time to erupt is way shorter than the Old faithful), and be back later. Trust me, the eruption isn't too surprising to see, though I highly recommend listening to the story of park rangers of how the biggest geyser ( not old faithful) erupted, and the science of the formation of geysers, very interesting. 

2. You most likely can finish the park in a day despite its size ( if you only have 1 day), all the top sights are located in a circle, they will give a map when you enter, or you can print it online here and plan ahead depending on where you enter. Even though you won't have a much more amazing time than camping there for a night. 

3. No. don't jump into the pool. I know it's tempting us ( aka ME) with the clear color but please no, there are some people that actually did that,  UNLESS you want to boil all your skin, change your look to a new self, hopefully, rejuvenate to a different person, then go ahead. 

4. Buffalos aren't rare, neither are Bears. Don't disturb them! 

5. We didn't even have a plan to visit the Grand Canyon/ Artist's point, nor read about it, we basically just turned left ( or right), and be like, oh hey this place looks interesting, let's go! A plan doesn't mean following it religiously, go wherever it takes you to go.

Some highlights of the trip ( not in a particular order)
  • Artists Point/Grand canyon of Yellow stone
  • Morning Glory pool ( Upper Geyser Basin) / Sapphire pool ( Biscuit Basin). Basically, all the basins are worth it to check out ( midway geyser, west thumb...). Fact: the interesting color from these pools are due to the bacteria in the water. Another fun fact: Once in a while, Yellow Stone park has to suck up all the objects and trashes from the pool by a special method ( mostly coins, you will prolly see some. Very sad, I couldn't dive into it to get some coins for riding the bus, the water is too dirty and...boiling... and acidy )
  • Hayden or Lamar Valley, all the buffalos and animals...
  • Grand Prismatic Spring ( very hard to see, unless it's a good day, most of the time it's covered by steam, still a good place to check out)
  • We haven't checked out the Mammoth hot springs due to the long wait for the Old faithful eruption, that being said, I hope you can spend at least more than a day in this wonderful heaven. 










































































Morning Glory pool, about 15' hike from old faithful geyser











































































































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