Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Howdy campers! After we dropped Colin off at Reno airport, we continued our journey northeast to stop by the Craters of the Moon in Idaho. It is a small national park where the land is made of black sand with craters from volcanic activity. You really feel like you are walking on the moon but only a couple hours there is enough. Then we were off to Jackson, WY where we met up with our next set of visitors – my girlfriend Vy from SF, Justin’s childhood friend Bean living in HK, and his two friends from London, Alex and Jon who are all here for a wedding in Idaho. Jackson is a quaint little town, not to be confused with Jackson Hole, the nearby ski area. While the boys went white water rafting early in the morning, Vy and I brunched and shopped around the main town square. Jon the Brit was a bit nervous because river levels are at a record high due to unusual amount of snowfall this year and there was news that someone died from rafting just the day before. Nonetheless, everyone survived and we spent the evening at the rodeo.

If you’ve never been to a rodeo, it is quite a comic relief, though probably not on purpose. The emcee sounded like a real cowboy, dropping “hee haw” in every other sentence while playing Bon Jovi and other 80s hits. When he kept saying “the bucking post,” the boys thought he said “the f*cking post” and couldn’t stop laughing with tears rolling down their cheeks. Cowboy after cowboy did various stunts on a horse like lasso a cow or some obstacle course that we didn’t really understand. They were joined by adorable junior 5-year-old cowboys and cowgirls who tried riding on a sheep but only one succeeded while everyone else fell under the sheep before they could get on. The halftime show included midget duffers singing in a chicken suit and a contest with kids chasing cattle to grab a flag for a prize which was complete mayhem and ended in tears. Then came cowgirls riding their horse across performing various stunts. Unfortunately, only the first cowgirl was blonde and pretty; the rest were more mannish with thunder thighs, but nonetheless impressive. The show finale was the ever exciting bull riding which ended with the bull trampling on a midget (we soon realized it was a dummy midget so no actual humans were harmed). What is with the rodeo and midgets?

After the rodeo, we made our way to the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The bouncer discreetly informed us that Shakira was at the bar, but she was hard to find amongst so many cowboy-hat-wearing patrons. After Justin got a table at the back of the bar, the rest of us joined him and realized that Shakira and her boyfriend were sitting at the table right next to us. Vy and Bean proceeded to sit right next to them – Vy wanted to tell Shakira she is also a fellow Bruin (UCLA alum). She was wearing a turquoise plait shirt with jeans, and he was donning a cowboy hat and a white t-shirt with jeans. To be honest, they were a bit nondescript other than the fact that they were shamelessly making out like it was high school prom – his hand up her shirt and all over her ass. And speaking of ass, where is that ass she’s so famous for? Shakira was a TINY little girl and there was barely an ass on her! If I wasn’t told that it was Shakira, I wouldn’t have given her a second look. Then the Brits told us her boyfriend is a famous football (soccer) player for Barcelona and were surprised at his equally diminutive stature. Of course they would be the only two people in the entire bar who could identify the guy since no Americans follow soccer. Jon the Brit shameless took pictures of them with his iPhone until finally they got up and left the bar. We also left our table to play a few rounds of pool. Then on our way home, we came across a dance party at KoShu Wine Bar (which Vy and I heard about from Zeb the local guy who gave us a ride when we hitchhiked earlier). We danced until three in the morning and made an obligatory drunken pit stop at the convenient store where we wolfed down a box of powdered donuts. Ahh, fond memories of Jackson indeed. 

Next stop: Grand Tetons. Over and out.

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