Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Flight Before Christmas

The best-laid plans of mice and men have absolutely nothing on Mother Nature. When heavy snow meets gusting winds 'neath the lights of Cheyenne, it tends to put the kibosh on one's travel plans. Thus, instead of meeting young Mr. Earp in the wee small hours of this morning I shall be meeting him in beautiful Newark (OK, at the airport anyway) this afternoon.

Rob learned again last evening that while the shortest distance between two points may very well be a straight line, when the line is the southbound lanes of travel on Interstate 25 and Point A is Cheyenne, Wyoming and Point B is Denver International Airport, it is not always an easy line to walk.

Cheyenne is roughly 100 miles north of Denver. You could theoretically (if you had an extra-sized piece of chalk) draw a line that connects the two cities. Given the proximity of one to the other and the fact that 90% of the trip is driven through Colorado and its 75 mile per hour speed limit, it is not impossible to make the trip is slightly more than an hour.

Sadly, Mother Nature chose yesterday to beat the living snot out of the Front Range of Colorado and southeastern Wyoming with a winter storm. The good people of Wyoming respect a good winter storm. At some point while Rob was at work - anticipating making the trek directly from the job to the airport, Interstate 25 southbound was shut down. And whereas here when we close a highway we light a flare and put up a cone or two, out there when a highway is closed they go whole hog. A big swinging arm barrier goes across the roadway to make it impossible for traffic to pass. Thus as Rob was trying to drive south last evening he knew instantly when he had reached the point on I-25 south past which he could drive no further. And unfortunately it was at a point that left him roughly 92 miles north of Denver.

Fortunately for every problem there is a solution. As we were contemplating alternate routes for him to drive in shit weather in order to get to the airport on time, Margaret called the airline to look into changing Rob's flight. She was pleased to speak to a very nice young woman at Continental Airlines who put Rob on a flight leaving Denver this morning at 10:00 a.m. Colorado time (he was originally slated to leave Denver at a minute or two before midnight yesterday), charging us only $50.00 for the privilege. And if you do not think that Margaret would have gladly paid 10 times that amount for the peace of mind associated with not having to worry about Rob driving south in a snowstorm at night, then you obviously do not know my wife - or any other mothers. While he is now arriving later on Christmas Eve than originally planned, he will be here - Home - in plenty of time for Santa and, more importantly, in plenty of time for vinegar peppers, stuffed escarole and to share a glass of Christmas Eve wine with his grandfather while sitting around Joe's table in the presence of family.

It shall be for us a good night. And to you and yours, may your Christmas Eve bring tidings of joy as well.


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