Friday, June 06, 2008

The time I almost got arrested back in '98: PART I

ABOVE: X MARKS THE SPOT



I drive into work at 3:30AM each day without traffic, without distractions and with a better than small chance of the cell phone ringing unless its my college brother texting me incoherent words as he nears unconsciousness after an evening of drinking cheap beer.


My 40 minute commute allows time to reflect on current events, the weather (my job), family, quantum theory, stuff like that. A few days ago during my commute just as I passed the only 24 hour Wendy's on the interstate, completely out of the blue, my memory suddenly dug up memories of my cross-country driving trip back in 1998 and the second one with my wife back in 2000. Seems like an eternity ago. A time before 9/11, a time before kids, a time before 90210 went off the air. A time when my wife and I almost got arrested while "allegedly" sneaking into Zion National Park.



All I need to say is: Hungr girlfriend and not enough money. Ready for this?


When I conceived the idea of traveling across this great land via automobile with my wife, I had the experience of one other cross country trip under my belt spanning grueling stretches of vast interstates of Arizona and Colorado, volcanic ash covered roads of the Black Hills of South Dakota, the cotton fields of Mississippi and a town with a population of 7 in rural Wyoming of which I have a picture. (Now, population of 1 as of 2000)

My check for the trip included a Mag-Light, pocket knife, money and a Rand McNally among other things. I thought I had thought of everything until we got about half way through our trek when the unthinkable happened.

Driving up I-15 after leaving Las Vegas, I thought of the bright idea of hitting every National Park within 4 inches on my current position on the map. What I failed to take into account in my wave of exploratory impulsiveness was that in Utah, 4 hours on a map isn't a quick 1/2 hour drive like it is in, say Connecticut. Its a 4 hour odyssey!


All I saw on the semi-worn Rand McNally were the green pockets that indicated national parks and plenty of them ready for me to conquer. They gleamed like diamonds; the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; my reward after a long journey. My wife trying to convince me that this might not be a good idea.



The conversation was like this as we thundered down the interstate at 77 mph (the speed limit is 75 in Utah):


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