July 30, 2006

Road Trip : Part Three

(Glacier National Park, MT to Butte, MT) : 238.96 Miles
(Butte, MT to Logan, UT) : 360.97 Miles
Glacier to Logan.gif

Searching for a Sizzler...
For the love of god. (or dog, depending on which bumper sticker you prefer... you know... blah... 'is my co-pilot'), why are there so many advertisements for Sizzler... yet no Sizzler(s) to be found. To be fair, there were only three Sizzler billboards in Kalispell, MT : but none of them led me to my desired goal - dinner at a Sizzler (perhaps I wasn't meant to be driving across the country without a GPS system).

False Advertising...
So... despite my failure to locate a Sizzler for dinner, I figured that it wouldn't be too hard to find a Glacier in Glacier National Park... right? (the fact that it's summer, and the inconvient truth about Global Warming aside...) But as it turns out, there's only 1 easily visible glacier at Glacier National Park (Jackson Glacier)... Nevertheless, it clearly was worth the drive up to the Canadian border... especially if scientists are correct, and all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park are set to begin retreating as early as 2030.

Rest Days...
After pretty much driving non-stop from Friday afternoon to Thursday afternoon, I've decided to take some time off from driving and spend the weekend visiting friends in Logan (right by Salt Lake City), UT. (or at least, this is what I'm telling my hosts). The real reason is so that I can have some quality time with Magellan (who you might remember from my original posts in this blog almost three years ago). He's still so cute!

One day... he'll be mine (even if it means having to dog-nap him. Don't tell the Meibos family!).

Goat Stairs.JPG
(I always wondered how mountain goats got to the top of mountains... it turns out that they use stairs!)

Jackson Glacier.JPG
(At least I managed to get a picture of one...)

(Don't you want to come on a long car ride, Magellan?)

Posted by Brice at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2006

Road Trip : Part Two

(Logan, UT to Yellowstone, WY {via Grace, ID}) : 261.16 Miles
(Yellowstone, WY to Kalispell, MT) : 401.41 Miles
Logan to Kalispell.gif

Leading Off...
Yes... There was no irony lost on me that I had to go through Grace, in order to get to where I wanted to go =)... The good news was that the trip through Grace was pretty much painless this time, and I was able to prove the adage that things always get easier the next time around.

Additional Thoughts...
Yellowstone... is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen (right up there with The Grand Caynon, and well... Ithaca in Janurary). It was amazing to see the geysers, mud pots, and hot springs. We ended up waiting for about an hour to see Old Faithful (see picture below), but it was well worth the wait. If you've never gone to Yellowstone before, you definately have to go see it at least once. I've been told that Glacier National Park is even more breath taking - and I can't wait to see it tomorrow!

What I Learned Today...
Gambling is legal in Montana... (who would have knew this?). And while this is cool and all (there's litterally 15 casinos in the town I'm staying in right now - population : 14,000), there is something to be said about looking into a 'casino' on a Tuesday night, seeing about five people there (who look like regulars), and realizing that the definition of a casino in Montana is any store with 10 slot machines...

Day(s) of First(s)...
In addition to the usual first time at Yellowstone things (like seeing a buffalo, and an elk up close), there were some non-standard firsts...
Like today was the first day that I visited the *same* McDonald's twice in one day (breakfast and lunch today in West Yellowstone).
Today was also the first time that I've ever been hit with a drive-by-racial-slur... (the interesting part is how, pray tell me, that the teenage occupants of the car managed to tell that I was asian from behind - given that I was wearing my Cleveland Golf hat backwards at the time... It is good, however, to know that racism is alive and well, in the far outreaches of the United States)

And on an Emotional Note...
(if you know me well, you should expect to see something in this category often...) I called my mom yesterday, and she said something in the course of our conversation that totally floored me. (given that I usually ignore most of what she says, this is truly unique...) She said that she trusted me. (yes, this is the same woman who called me for the first twenty five years of my life to confirm that I did indeed brush my teeth that morning)... not that there is any reason that she shouldn't trust me - but it's always interesting to hear someone say that they trust you for the first time. (which qualifies this as an emotional note for me... =)

CIMG2423 Rotate2.JPG
(Old Faithful... well... kinda sorta...)

CIMG2460 small.JPG
(Dances with Wolves?)

Posted by Brice at 09:18 PM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2006

Roadtrip : Part One

(Plesanton, CA to Winnemucca, NV) : 388.18 Miles
(Winnemucca, NV to Logan, UT) : 431.91 Miles
Pleasanton to North Logan, UT.gif

And I'm not even one fifth of the way there. (I never really realized just exactly how big the United States was until... well... last night, when I finally opened my map of the US to see just exactly how far I had gone).

The good news is that I did have some ammount of time to think.
The bad news is that I had way too much time to think.

There are some interesting games that you can play while you're driving across the country by yourself - like guess which species of mammal is the next roadkill you come across, or guess how far that tree really is.... clearly, things that would not normally come across your mind on your average weekend. =)

Honestly, the trip has started out in a pretty relaxing pace... Originally, I was going to drive across from Pleasanton to Salt Lake City (12 hours) all in one drive - but then I decided to break the trip into two days... and gained $100 in playing $2 blackjack in Winnemucca Friday night (you haven't lived until you've played at the only blackjack table in Winnemucca at 11PM at night). Or. Maybe you haven't bottomed out untl you've played at the only blackjack table in Winnemucca at 11PM at night =)


On a somewhat emotional note, my co-workers called me Friday afternoon to see if I was going into work. (having quit the previous Friday, it was only logical that I show up to work - since I'd shown up to work each of the previous four working days after my employement ended...) : while the call was really made to make fun of me for coming in (long story about why I eventually *did* go to work on Friday), there was a twinge of nostalgia, and the thought that people might actually miss me when I finally left my work.

The emotional part of this little story is that after 27 years, I still am uncomfortable with the notion that people might actually care about me. On one hand, I trust the people that I am closest to, and logically believe that they will be there for me when I need them the most. But on a emotional plane, I am totally befuddled by the fact that they actually do care. Perhaps part of this has to do with growing up in an asian household, where the only times I heard the words "I love you" were when they were said on TV. But one would think at somepoint... anyways... perhaps I'm more guarded than I let on.

Cheers from Logan, UT

Next Place: Yellowstone, MT (followed by Glacier National Park).


Posted by Brice at 12:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2006

Apparently. I'm not alone...

Or, at least mathematically speaking, I alone no longer form a spanning set of all known "Brice Wu"(s) in this world.

Damn you Google!

(I feel violated =)

I guess the irony is that the other Brice Wu is a plastics engineer. Perhaps all Brice Wu's are pre-destined to study materials (although I was a semi-conductor type of guy... I wonder if there's a ceramics Brice Wu out there as well)

Posted by Brice at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)