Jaime and I had so much fun on the SW trip, that we decided to tag along with my parents the next year. They planned a trip to Wyoming to see the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. So Jaime and I jumped in the folks white Jeep and followed behind the motorhome. The trip was innocent enough at first, the grand finale was were the funny stuff lies…

RENO Baby!

The first stop was Reno. I was finally 21, and able to enjoy all the vices of Nevada. So Jaimenacho and I hit the ground running and drove out to Virginia Street to do some gambling. (We were staying out at the Reno Hilton) I remember at one point Jaime and I were playing slots, he was a few rows down from me at a point where I couldn’t see him. I played something like $20 and lost quickly and then went looking for Jaime.

There he sat at a machine, a “Double Black Tie” quarter machine. He was just sitting there not playing.

“What are you doing Jaime?”

“Look!”

He had some crazy payoff… 3 black ties, one a double, or something like that.

“The machine ran out of quarters”

“Nice!”

When the guy came back to fill up the machine, I think it stopped paying Jaime after 900 quarters. So Jaime was stoked. He had over $200 in winnings, that would easily get him through the week long trip.

The next day we took of through the desert of Nevada eastward. We stopped every now and then to meet me parents. I one point we stopped at some truck stop, Jaime put a few quarters in a machine and won $20 or so. He was on FIRE.

Once we got near the end of Nevada, we headed north to Idaho, and Twin Falls. The last stop in Nevada is one of those border towns. This one is Jackpot Nevada. Their wouldn’t be anything in this town if it wasn’t for gambling. It is strange, you drive for a least an hour through absolutely NOTHING. Then, all of a sudden, there are some decent sized casinos right before the Idaho border.

Jaime and I decided to stop and play for just a little bit before we were to leave the Silver State. We went to one little casino and blew a few bucks, then decided to check out “Cactus Pete’s”. Jaime and I blew a few bucks on some machines, I think I won $10 on a machine. And then we decided to leave, but we would each put $5 in a dollar machine and share the winnings. 2 pulls into our Red, White and Blue machine we hit $100! Booooo yaw. I now had a little more spending money, and Jaime continued his lucky streak.

So off we went to Twin Falls.

Idaho Smells Like Potatos (according to Jaime)

Welcome to Idaho. Jaime kept commenting upon arrival that it smelled like potatos… I guess so. He also made up a song…

“Smells like Potatos… smells like potatos… Idado smells like potatos”

Once we got our little campsite set up next to the Minnie Whinnie, Jaime and I decided to go see what the night life was all about in Twin Falls.

We found the one bar that looked crowded. It looked like a total cowboy bar, but what do you expect? So we waltz in. It was probably pretty obvious that we were Cali Kids when we entered. Even though people were kinda staring at us we didn’t care. We just walked up to the bar, flashed our id’s, and purchased a pitcher of Weinhardt Red. (good old Weiny Red!) It was a weird scene in there. There was the interesting cover band playing. They played everything from country to Pearl Jam… only in Idaho I guess.

So we drank our beer, and took off. I think before we went back to our campsite we decided to skate at the local mall. Then we went to bed.

Welcome to the West and the Wyoming Windshield

Jaime and I took of the next day toward Idaho. We decided to go a seperate route than my parents. We were going to meet them in Yellowstone, we just wanted to try something different. So off we went…

At one point in the drive Jaime and I started to ponder things that little kids say when talking about the parents…

“My dad was born before they invented water!”

Or something like that… Jaime can elaborate.

Eventually we rolled in Wyoming. And then into the Tetons. It was pretty cool, we just drove through stopping a few times to photograph and / or skate. Towards the end of the drive through the park, we encountered a stretch of road that was covered with gravel. I guess they were doing work to the road, but all the work that had been done was a nice layer of small rocks. There were large signs everywhere stating… “Speed Limit 30” and “No Passing”. Traffic moved slow, and understandable slow through the gravel lined road. All of a sudden, a corvette came racing by, passing everyone. He proceeded to spray rocks all over our windshield causes 3 different cracks and chips. I was pissed. And I spent the next 15 minutes cursing about the jerk in corvette.

When Jaime and I reached the exit, I decided to let the ranger know what had happened.

“How was your trip to the Tetons?” the goofy looking Mrs. Ranger said.

“It was great until some guy sprayed rocks on my windshield, you may want to have somebody patrol back there where the rocks are.”

“Oh… well that’s what happens when you come out west.”

“That’s interesting, I actually drove EAST to get here.”

“I’m sorry, everyone in Wyoming has one, we call it a “Wyoming Windshield”.

“Great…” and I drove off.

In California I guess we like to keep our roads paved and our windshields intact.

Yellowstone

Yellowstone was pretty cool. We saw Buffalos, and people that got way to close to them. We saw a moose. Had a beer at Old Faithful. And finally upon leaving Yellowstone a couple days later saw a bear.

But after a few days there we kinda saw everyting we wanted to see. (In retrospect, I could have spent many of days there… I have more interest in the outdoors… not to say I didn’t have any then… but I was 21)

So we told my parents that we were going to drive to Seattle to see Guillermo. I think there were a little miffed. And they kinda had a right to be, we were taking THEIR car, and they wouldn’t have any car to get around in any more. But they were cool about it, and let us go.

The Longest Drive

So Jaime and I hit the road early. I drove for a couple of hours, then turned the wheel over to Jaime. We drove and drove and drove… Jaime continued to drive. I would offer to drive, and Jaime would refuse. The plan was to drive to Spokane, which was about 7 hours away, stay there, then cruise into Seattle next day. Well Jaime got a wild hair, and decided he was going to drive ALL the way to Seattle. I said I didn’t want to drive that far, but if he wanted to, he could be my guest.

When we hit Spokane, we kept right on driving. Eventually we got to the middle of Washington. Which is a lot like the middle of Nevada. There is nothing there. We stopped at the one decent sized town, Moses Lake to get gas. I remember popping the hood open, and checking the oil while Jaime went inside to whiz or something.

Jaime came running out of the store a few minutes later…

“Oooh! There is a kid in there that looks like an alien!”

“WHAT?!?!?”

“Look!” Jaime pointed towards the window, and sure enough. There was this big dopey looking white kid that looked like an alien. Actually he looked more like an oversized white version of Sam Cassell… but I guess that is close enough. He was funky looking.

I think my response was something like…

“I guess that’s how they grow them here in Moses Lake.”

So Jaime jumped in the car to continue his maddening journey onward to Seattle. I wasn’t 30 seconds into his acceleration onto I-90 that suddenly the hood flew up in front our face!

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!” Jaime screamed!

“CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!” I screamed!

When we pulled over I looked at the damage. I could barely close the hood, now I had both a Wyoming Windshield and a Moses Lake / Paco Hood on my Mom’s Jeep.

GREAT!

Well… wasn’t much to do now. I just let Jaime continue the march onward.

About 3 hours later we rolled into the eastside burbs of Seattle. And we parked at some mall in Bellevue. In retrospect, I think it was the Galleria. So Jaime and I called Guillermo…

“Hey Guillermo! Where are you? We are almost in Seattle!”

“Ohhh… I am still in Redding.”

“WHAT!?!?!?”

“Yeah I got delayed…” (I don’t recall the reason why.)

“Oh crap… well I guess we will just get a hotel and see you some other time.”

Well… now the madness was about to begin.

Jaime and I tried to check into the first hotel we came across.

NO VACANCY

We tried a couple more in Bellevue…

NO VACANCY

Jaime then thought… well, we can drive South, we will probably find one near the airport.

I think by the 3rd one on I-5 we were informed by one of the hotel keepers.

“You probably won’t find a hotel for a while…”

Jaime persisted onward…

NO VACANCY

NO VACANCY

NO VACANCY…

Right around Olympia I started to fall asleep…

“Just pull over Jaime… I can’t stay awake… it’s 1 AM!”

“I’ll FIND a place.”

He was a man possessed. Or just insane from driving SO many hours.

Eventually Jaime got me up…

“Hey I got us a hotel.”

“Where are we???”

“Salem.”

“What time is it?!?!”

“4:00… we can stay here until 11”

“Ok… let’s go to bed.”

The next day Jaime let loose after his marathon drive. And it is a story only he can tell. Well… I guess a lot of it I will probably have to tell too.