US Travel

On the road again

February 24, 2009

I’m at the Denver airport , waiting for my flight to Helena, MT and a group of young Amish (or something like that) women just walked by in prairie dresses and little white scarves in their hair. I felt like I was in a period piece until one of the young ladies stuck her palm out at her friend and told her to ‘chill’. I did a double take . . .

I’m a day late getting into Helena. I was supposed to leave yesterday. Ingrid was awesome and drove me to the airport. Once I attempted to check-in, my itinerary told me that the flight in Chicago was delayed so I would miss my connecting flight in Denver. There were no other flights last night. No problem, my luggage and I could jump the train and the bus back home for the night.

It was a pain in my ass. I had two pieces of luggage and a backpack. (I had brought a lot of my winter stuff home and was trading it for spring wear – I usually don’t travel with so much stuff). First in the bathroom, going into a stall with enough room for me and my entourage. Then through the train turnstile, pushing one bag and pulling the other. Everything was fine on the train, until I got off at the station. Another turnstile and I had to take the escalator up to the road to get on the bus. The escalator was half the size of a normal one and not suited width-wise for the now average American. I was able to pull the smaller bag on to the stair behind me but the other bag was an a-hole and I almost fell on my head trying to get it to work. The escalator kept going up, along with my body, but the luggage refused to ride up. My arm about popped out of it’s socket and I have a nice cherry colored bruise on my forearm. I did finally pull hard enough and we all went up.

As I reached the top, I realized that I needed to catch the bus on the opposite side of the street and it would be impossible to cross the busy street with all my gear. I couldn’t run across. I turned around to go back down and underneath the street to the other side. No down escalator, only stairs. Shiza! How was I going to get two bags down at one time. I couldn’t leave one unattended – I was afraid that someone would run off with it. So, slowly, one step at a time, I started down. But then a man walking up, volunteered to help me. For a split second I thought, do I trust this guy? I was desperate and he turned out to be very nice. I felt a little bad because he took the heavier bag, though I tried to ignore his struggling.

I walked under the road and up the escalator to the other side. This time I was a pro at the escalator and made it up with ease. At the top, I pushed and pulled my way through the double doors, bouncing on my luggage, to stand on the street and wait for the bus. Others standing around gave sideways glances at all my crap. I was really tired at that point and didn’t care. The bus arrived and I let everyone on before me, but a young guy waited and helped me with my other bag. Lucky again! I crowded the pathway of the bus, forcing people to squeeze past me. It was funny to watch people squeeze through, sometimes nose to nose with others. Closeness, part of living in the city, I guess. All three bags and I made it home.

Stacy drove me today, thank you. I’ll spend a few days in Helena and then drive down to Las Vegas on my way to LA. I’ll be spending Sunday night with Zel – fun times!

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