Monday, February 20, 2006

Salt Lake City

Up at 4 am - shower - shave - load - kiss my wife goodbye - hit the road to SeaTac. I've done this routine countless times. I've brewed a latte for the road. The home espresso machine has paid for itself many times over. I park at Doug Fox and hop on the bus with my fellow road warriors. Silence rules.

The airport is not too crowded considering the holiday. The security line is only a few minutes wait, plenty of TSA today. They are always refreshingly and thankfully cordial. Laptop out - shoes off - belt off - walk through. I am now in the enchanted land behind security. My gate is on the far end of the A Concourse. Plenty of time for a grande non.

The plane is full. I'm sitting next to a women about in her sixties. We exchange pleasantries and then become lost in our thoughts for the rest of the flight. A baby cries in the next row for nearly the entire flight. I'm immune. I'm a dad, though my boys are way beyond baby stage.

Is it me or are the female flight attendants all getting older?

I catch peekaboo views of Rainier through the clouds - the Wallowas, Hell's Canyon, the mountains of Idaho, and finally the relict shorelines of ancient Lake Bonneville tell me we're almost there. We pass SLC airport on our left and head south for what seems like a considerable distance, finally turning 180 degrees to the north for a smooth landing at SLC.

The car rental is a bit of a zoo. Harried are the attendants with cars coming in off the long weekend. A line is forming. I'm finally off in a utilitarian Ford Focus.

Salt Lake City is crisply cold, sunny, and covered in several inches of snow. The roads are clear. I make my way to my meeting.

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