Like many, I had a bit of a time getting to where I was going this holiday. However unlike most of them, my issues were pretty much of my own doing. The 32.5 hours between when I first left my house and when I finally arrived in Aspen provided some interesting (mis)adventures. And thanks to Twitter (with a little help from Flickr), I managed to capture most of it in what I like to call my Web 2.0 travelogue (comments in [ ] were added after the fact).
[December 22: I called a cab for a 5:45pm pick-up to catch a 7:05pm. I was planning to check 1 bag (+2 carry-ons), but I had checked-in online and United now offers online bag check at SFO. The cab was there on time, but I didn’t get downstairs until 6pm. Then I realized I forgot my laptop charger. Ok, now it’s 6:05pm and we’re just leaving the Marina. As long as we get there in 20 minutes, I should be fine.
We actually make it there by 6:25pm. But, I forgot that this is the Friday night before Christmas and the airport is pretty packed. While United.com makes it sound like the online bag check is just a simple drop off, I spend 20 min in line before the agent tells me to just try to gate check the bag. I then end up arguing with a security guy for 5 min about whether or not I can bring 3 bags through security — guess who wins. It’s now 15 min before my flight is supposed to leave and they tell me I have no choice but to get in line to be rebooked.
Well, I know that means I’m not going anywhere until after Christmas. So, I furiously cram the contents of my backpack and the backpack, itself, into my other 2 bags. Get through security with 2 bulging bags, flight leaves in 5 min. Run to the monitors (keep in mind that one of these bags has my ski boots and all my ski clothes, so running is not easy) to see what gate my flight’s at. It’s delayed by 20 min, hallelujah! Get to the gate, and then the fun really starts…]
Me – Flight cancelled. But, at least they’re rescheduling it for tomorrow morning. Higher powers willing, I’ll still be on the slopes tomorrow. 07:49 PM December 22, 2006 from mobile
[The details of what transpired in the 13 hours between these two Twitter updates are, and will remain, somewhat shrouded in mystery. What I do know is that after arriving home from SFO around 8:30pm, I repacked my bags (2 back to 3) and booked a cab to pick me up at 4:30am the next morning. Then, I figured I’d pop by the bar for a drink or two. Well, two drinks turned into more, and the next thing I know I wake up 3 hours after my flight was supposed to leave.]
Me – Mile 350 – Mill City, NV; GPS Sez: arriving @ 3:42am; Mental State: Can’t wait to see Battle Mtn now, thanks to Cody. 03:19 PM December 23, 2006 from mobile
[Getting the Twitter updates from my friends definitely helped me make it through the unending bleakness of Northern Nevada’s high desert. Though, I was pret
ty disappointed to not see the “BM” when I passed Battle Mountain — Cody’s update really made me chuckle for a good 20 miles.]
[Ticket for going 100mph in Nevada = $347 — I guess it’s for the best that cruise control wouldn’t let me go any faster. If I wasn’t already regretting the decision to drive, this definitely put me over the top. But, there was no turning back at this point…]
Me – Mile 573 – Somewhere in Eastern Nevada; Mental State: Worried. Fuel light came on 32 miles from next gas station and it’s 27 degrees out. 06:02 PM December 23, 2006 from mobile
[What I didn’t mention was that I had passed a town with gas about 28 miles earlier and decided to keep going, even though the fuel gauge told me I only had enough gas to make it 4 miles past Wendover. Why would I do such a thing? Because I didn’t want to stop before I hit the 600 mile mark, duh!]
Me – Mile 603 – Wendover, UT; Mental State: So much to celebrate – 1/2 way there, made it to UT, didn’t run out of gas 😀 Beef jerky time! 06:43 PM December 23, 2006 from mobile
Me – Mile 730 – Salt Lake City, UT; Mental State: Wishing I had bought a car adapter for my iPod. Just heard Ferg-alicious for the 5th time. 08:16 PM December 23, 2006 from mobile
[I believe the final count was “Fergalicious” 6 times and “London Bridge” once. Why not change the channel, you ask? Well, in most of these places, other than the one top 40 station, every other channel (and usually there were only 2-3 others) was either Xmas music or people talking about Jesus.]
Me – Mile 1,004 – Grand Junction, CO; Mental State: Sad it’s dark out. This is where the really pretty part starts, and I can’t see it. Missed Hwy 6 too. 12:30 AM December 24, 2006 from mobile
Me – Mile 1,058 – Rifle, CO; Mental State: Stopped for a roadside “break”, and the snow, the cold, the sound of the river reminded me why I did this. 01:19 AM December 24, 2006 from mobile
Me – Mile 1,084 – Glenwood Springs, CO; Mental State: Running on fumes (me, not the car this time). But, only 40 miles to go. Sack up! 01:33 AM December 24, 2006 from mobile
Me – Mile 1,117 – Snowmass, CO; Mental State: Might be too excited about skiing tomorrow to sleep tonight. 02:05 AM December 24, 2006 from mobile
[Somehow, this update got delayed being posted on Twitter. So, I reordered it and used the time I sent it from my phone.]
Me – 1,123.8 miles, 15hr 37min (3.5hrs less than GPS said!), and one moving violation later, I’m here. Except for 1 small problem: I’m locked out. Lol! 02:23 AM December 24, 2006 from mobile
Me – Managed to get in the house and get some sleep. Woke up to 3+ in of fresh and still comin. Gettin on the gondola now. Ready to rip shit up! 10:20 AM December 24, 2006 from mobile
So, that’s it. I made it having only missed 1 day of skiing. That plus the cash costs of the rental car, gas, and, of course, the speeding ticket, seem a fair price to pay for my idiocy. But those who know me, know that it probably won’t keep me from doing something like this again (in fact, this reminds me of the time I went to North Carolina for a wedding and missed my flights going and coming back — spent more time in transit than at my destination).
Anyway, I’m glad to be here with my family (not to mention the nice snowy mountains). Here’s wishing everyone as happy, if less adventurous, holidays.