‘Ziiiiip’ – the sharp sound of the zip fastener (what an apt and descriptive name it is) marked out the end of our hustle to brace for the night. This engaging-all-family-members effort included: finding a campsite, identifying a designated pitch, and setting up a tent. Easier said than done given gathering darkness and the driving rain.
Having secured a rudimentary shelter, we could proceed to upgrading it with a little bit of comfort. Sleeping pads and bags, together with numerous pieces of equipment scattered normally all over the car, had to be handled to the tent before they all got drenched.
The previous night, hot and sweltering, spent on a campsite in Salt Lake City, Utah, seemed suddenly very unreal. Could it have been the same journey during which temperatures had been reaching 36 degrees Celsius during the day and had not been falling below 20 in the night? Had it been in the same country? On the same continent? No way. Our one-day-long transiting of 400 miles from Utah to Wyoming felt like moving from Africa to northern Europe.
While having supper, we exchanged remarks how diverse and exciting our journey had been so far. Mountains, forests and rivers of Washington and Oregon, giant redwood trees of California, deserts of Nevada – every day had been like a bead of different colour and size added to the necklace called USA Roadtrip 2018. Already it looked interestingly enough but, fortunately, the beading thread was still half-empty waiting for the wonders of Yellowstone to come.
Twenty minutes later we were lying shoulder to shoulder in our sleeping bags. Sleep would not come, but it would be difficult to tell the exact reason why. Was it down to the fatigue after the eventful day or to anxiety about the inclement weather? Or was it, most probably, because of the excitement of visiting the world’s oldest national park planned for the next couple of days?