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Monday, August 16, 2004

Engine noise outside the van woke me around 8am in the morning. I peered outside to find one of Cody's finest (a cop) stepping out of his patrol car. For cripes sakes, I hadn't been parked more that 6 hours and the cops were already breathing down my neck. It's hard to be nice when you feel like you're being unnecessarily persecuted.

I saw the cop walk past my van and into the adjacent house that was situated on a corner lot. Earlier in the morning when I arrived, I took care to park on the side and no directly in front of the property. But that didn't seem to matter. The cop went inside and didn't come out for more than 15 minutes. He then left the house and ran over to my van. He started pounding on the door, screaming for me to get out of the van. Yeah, like I'm going to open the door. So with gun drawn he shot the door lock, flung open the door, then hurled himself at me, guns-a-blazing!!! ... er... okay, that was my persecution fantasy. He actually left the house, got in his car, and vacated.

My guess is the homeowner saw the van and thought I was a terrorist. A terrorist who was inside feverishly wiring up a bomb to specifically blow them up. So they called the cops. The officer assessed the situation, ran my Oregon plates, then told the homeowner I was just some Joe on vacation, simply passing through. I thought it was pretty thoughtful for the officer not to bug me. But then again maybe he was just visiting his mother...or maybe getting some early-morning that's an unsettling thought...I'm sure that wasn't it...hopefully... God, that reminds me of a scene in Blue Velvet where Dennis Hopper... oh, never mind...

Needless to say, I left that place pretty quick in search of more protected and secluded surroundings. Via my GPS I discovered Cody had a reservoir and it looked like it had a park. I drove there and yes, I was right, there was a really nice park. My intention was to just park the van and get more sleep since I only got 5 hours in before the cop incident earlier.

I managed to catch 2 more hours of sleep but still felt rather wiped out. I ended up just relaxing and writing postcards. I had plans to go see the rodeo in the evening and all I really had to do prior was get gas, refill my van's water bottles, buy a rodeo ticket, and go food shopping.

While sitting at the picnic table writing my postcards, I took a good, hard look at my van and realized it was absolutely filthy! Yesterday's drive through Grand Teton National Park really made a mess of it. The park is in the process of rebuilding one of its major thoroughfares and when passing through they had just sprayed the dirt roadway with water to keep the dust down. The road splashed up a good slurry of mud on each side of the van. So much so, I though, "Wouldn't it be cool to write my website URL on both sides of the van?".

So with finger in ... er ... hand, I penned out my URL. A little shameless self-promotion I must say.

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Various Planes, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Naval Cemetery, Point Loma, CA
Bloody Red Foliage near Saranac Lake, NY
The Sentinel, Zion National Park, UT
Grand Tetons, WY atop an observation tower
The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame, Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC
Wright Brother’s Flyer, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Spirit of St. Louis, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Taos Pueblo, NM
Mount Chocorua, White Mountains, NH
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame, Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC
Mall of America, Minneapolis, IL
Sunning Sea Lion, Monterey, CA