Beathard: Neither snow nor rain nor tornado can stay me
You’d think a four-day trip wouldn’t be that big of a deal. You’d streamline by not checking a bag, arrive on time to board your plane and be at your final destination the next time you open your eyes. But for me, it just never is that simple.
It’s always either snow in Aspen or some kind of epic thunderstorm in Dallas. This time, it was a fun combination of both.
I drove to Grand Junction on Thursday morning, and even though it was a yucky, snowy mix in the Roaring Fork Valley, I felt confident that I had made a good choice flying out of the desert and that I would have no trouble once I got there.
Well, I was right about the weather there, but I had no idea that thunderstorms and tornadoes were threatening the area around Dallas. It wasn’t until I had already gone through security and ordered my sandwich at Subway that I realized the flight had been delayed three hours.
It seemed inevitable at that point that, whatever time I finally got in, I was going to have to hop in a car and drive the distance to College Station, where my sister’s college graduation was happening the next day. I’m not ashamed to say I threw a bit of a temper tantrum at that news.
After pouting in the waiting area for a while, I decided to put my stuff back in the car and take a run around the parking lot. Seriously. But airports don’t have gyms, and I needed to let some steam out.
By the way, why is that? Airports have bars, fast-food restaurants and all kinds of unhealthy things to do while you’re stuck in them. A gym has opened in the Toronto airport, but it’s the only one known in North America, according to The New York Times. I hope it catches on in the U.S.
After about 30 minutes of that, I went back inside only to find out I was delayed another hour. At that point, I got in the car and left. I drove to downtown Grand Junction, bought a phone charger since I’d forgotten one, and walked around Main Street, which is actually quite nice if you’ve never been. I went into one shop looking for peaches and came out with some homemade fudge. Then I bought a Mother’s Day gift from a woman who makes her own loose-leaf tea.
I finally got on the plane and even managed to get on the late flight to College Station. Turns out half the people who were supposed to be on it had also been delayed. I finally landed in Aggieland close to midnight, greeted by several members of the family.
All in all, it was a great trip. But when I flew back into Grand Junction late Sunday night, it turned out that once again it didn’t matter that the weather was fine around the airport. It was a full-on whiteout from about Silt on, and I ended up getting a hotel room downvalley.
The inconvenience of traveling into and out of our valley is certainly one of the things that make this place special. It acts like a floodgate guarding against all kinds of population growth and consumerism. However, next time I travel, I’m looking into teleportation.
Jill Beathard is the editor of the Snowmass Sun. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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