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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thai-style driving NOT appreciated at National Park

I got in trouble at the park today. Sort of.

At the the main gate of Rocky, I tried to drive up to the card reader and swipe my annual pass. But I couldn't get through because a big white Park Service truck was sitting in the lane, doing nothing. The driver had his hand dangling out the window, and I think I mistook a twitch as an invitation to do a Thailand-style squeeze-around.

So I did what any Thai driver would. I eased my CRV into the crack between the truck and the gatehouse. There was maybe an inch on each side--plenty of room, right? I could see I was going to have to reach over and pull in my mirror, so I slowed down. Then I heard the ranger at the next booth shout, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?"

Apparently, some mornings, before coffee, I still forget what country I'm in.

As the truck pulled away to let me through, the ranger made a joke about fining me 100 USD. Then he watched me swipe my pass over and over. "Turn it around!" he groaned. Which worked and the gate went up.

As they watched me go, the rangers were probably convinced I was going into the mountains to die. I wouldn't be surprised if they put out an all-points bulletin: bonehead at large, armed with Honda CRV. And dangerous!


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