Day 1 - Palo Alto, CA to Elko, NV

Highlights: Basque dinner in Elko, NV with our neighbors.After the previous night's emergency, our hopes for an early start vaporized.

We were shooting for Twin Falls, Idaho by evening, knowing a family who actually did that the previous year, on their way to Yellowstone.

But not leaving until after 9am and still having to stop to fill the gas tank - well, as you can see from the title of this post, it was not to be.

Side note: As soon as we started mentioning our planned trip to Yellowstone, families who had visited earlier started coming out of the woodwork. They had tons of good info about routes, how long it would take to go from Point A to Point B (very important when travelling with 3 young kids), where to stay, what to see. Thus, we discovered our neighbors, Charlie and Pauline, whose two daughters go to school with our kids, were also going to Yellowstone and driving and leaving the exact same day!

One little difference, they left a few hours earlier. At noon, we called them to find out where they were - in Reno having lunch, while we were just pulling out of a gas station near Sacramento, one of our many uncoordinated bathroom stops. By uncoordinated, I mean how come you can't get all 3 kids to go to the bathroom once and then not have to revisit a bathroom again for at least a couple of hours. I'll learn to get over it by the end of the trip.

Realizing we'll be in Elko around 5pm, which is where Charlie and Pauline are stopping for the night (they being reasonable and realistic), we again called them to see if they might want to have dinner together. We've still got it in our heads we're going to drive further after dinner.

The 5 kids have a fun swim at their hotel pool and then we head on over to The Star Hotel, a Basque restaurant recommended by the hotel. Apparently, Elko has a large Basque community dating back to the late 1800s and every July they host the National Basque Festival. Elko also hosts the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in January (must be the slow time of the year for cowboying). A long wait for a table, followed by a delicious Basque dinner served family-style with huge portions precludes us from driving any further. All for the best as we're a bit sated. Fortunately, no problems finding a room and we settle into the Holiday Motel.

Day's mileage: 536 miles, 8 hrs driving

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