Traveling around the US National Parks

When I was in college and already feeling the wanderlust, I joined my grandpa and fifty other retirees from China on to a Chinese tour bus and visited many of the national parks in the US.

Yes. One of those tour buses.

The ones filled with obnoxious, throwin’ up their peace signs for terribly staged photos, tour guide waiving around a flag. Yes. That was us.

image

I visited all the states you never probably thought of visiting – the Dakotas, Utah, Wyoming. The tour was entirely in Mandarin, a language I barely know. That tour included stops at every Chinese buffet in towns that don’t have any Asian population. You know those untouched crab rangoons at a sad little pan-Asian buffet on the outskirts Salt Lake City? Well, I’ve tried them. And I’ve been there. And not only have I been there, I was there with fifty other retirees.

image

Despite the sarcasm, I had a great time connecting with my grandpa. He is my absolute favorite relative. I didn’t mind being with all the old people because it meant I could hang out with him. We ate buffalo burgers at a monument that failed to bring prominence and tourism to Sotuh Dakota. We saw baby bears running through a sketchy safari park.

image

We visited Badlands National Park in South Dakota, Devil’s Tower and Grand Tetons in Wyoming, and also Yellowstone National Park.

image