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  • Ngoc X Doan

Visiting the Last National Park as the Country is Approaching Lockdown Mode

Updated: May 21

Some of you may be wondering why I haven't posted in awhile. I have been debating if I should continue documenting our journey. After giving it some thoughts, I decided to keep going because it would be nice to remember my experiences, both good and bad. Also, I probably will forget the details in a few years.


A week ago, I got into an accident - luckily I'm alive and kicking. Ha. I still have not told my parents yet hence I'm not announcing this post. They already have coronavirus and lockdown to keep them up at night. If I do not post, people would probably wonder what happened - most would probably think we got infected with Covid-19. If I post, then do I talk about the accident? Maybe. I'm not sure if I'm ready to tell the world what happened. Plus, do people really want to see pictures..?


Map of Week 9

Week 9 - Common Question

What do you guys talk about during long car rides? If so, what did you find surprising about each other?

We often drive long distance at night. Mark usually drives since I cannot stay awake behind the wheel. I fall asleep within 10 minutes in the passenger seat. For us, driving is considered our downtime. It is often pitch black when we are on the road. I am surprised that Mark is able to drive for hours without falling asleep. We often reach our destinations around midnight. We usually aimed to arrive by 11:00 PM at the latest but it has not been easy.



Week 9 - Tiny Home Experience


1. Death Valley National Park


The only national park nearby still open to the public was Death Valley National Park. I had always wanted to visit Death Valley ever since I heard about the super bloom in 2016. There was no super bloom when I visited, but it was still amazing to see the valley. Mountains that are farther away appear bluer - just as my high school art teacher taught me in painting class.


Death Valley - the name is ironic because this was where I had my bicycle accident. Kelly, one of my closest friends and climbing partner, said that I have bad luck with injuries. This accident was being one of them. I often try to be on the safe side. I rarely push my limits. When I used to rock climb, I almost never took any big leaps because I did not like to fall. And one small mistake at the valley, I got myself in trouble. I couldn't control my speed. Plus, I should have known since I was never good at Mario Kart - "racing" on curvy and hilly roads was a bad idea. I learned that I'm definitely not good at making sharp turns. I needed to lean my whole body but I didn't. I guess maybe being too careful in the past lead me to this crash. I was pretty scarred from the accident. Would I bike again? Probably, yes - just not on roads that I am not familiar with.




Meals at Death Valley

First time making kalbi on the road. Mark was pretty happy.


Flowers


Death Valley was most likely our last national park visit until everything is back to normal again.



2. Chino, CA


We stayed outside of a friend's home for the whole week since Mark needed to work during weekdays. It was nice having access to electricity and internet (at the front porch)!


Week 9 - Most Memorable Restaurants


1. Taqueria La Pasadita in Chino, CA

I lost track of how many times we ordered from here. Quick, good, and cheap! $1.39 a taco. $1 taco on Tuesdays.


2. Super Chili Burgers in Chino, CA.

We came here twice for dinner during the week since we couldn't cook. We had to eat outside because of social distancing.


3. Olvera's in Ridgecrest, CA

Food was okay. Owner was nice.



Week 9 - Random Tidbits


1. Costco's sign in response to coronavirus outbreak.


2. I picked lemons (unripped) and lemon leaves (for my mom).


3. More 7 Leaves. Mark bought 1/2 gallon of Vietnamese coffee.


Thanks everyone who has been checking in on me. My wounds are healing as fast as possible!



Love,


Ngoc


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