Been making some lifestyle changes that have moved blogging and social media down the priority list a few spots. Very happy with the results for my overall quality of life, so writing is likely to stay on the back burner for now. I will come out of literary hibernation from time to time to tell a story I find worthwhile, but I won’t be putting in the hours I did the last couple years.
Rocky road to the Rocky Mountains.
La recently decided she wanted to add the Colorado Black Hawk circuit stop to the schedule. I wasn’t convinced. I was enjoying the beautiful Dallas weather, sleeping in our bed, and getting some much needed exercise. I eventually told her she should go by herself if she wanted to grind, but I didn’t feel like it and I didn’t think there would be much Omaha action for me anyway. She wasn’t very happy about the idea of traveling without me and decided to make a few last minute compromises that would allow me to enjoy the Colorado state of mind while she got on the mtt grind. Once I agreed we got all the travel arrangements sorted quickly and packed for an early morning flight.
As is often the case with our schedule, its easier for us to stay up a few extra hours to catch an early morning flight than it is to get up after a short night’s sleep. While we were waiting for the flight I spent the time enjoying our compromise. I was deep into a Colorado state of mind by the time we left for the airport and that would make for an more interesting morning than I had anticipated.
We got the car to the long term parking and got on the shuttle to the airport. As we were about to exit the lot I did my usual pocket pat down and noticed there was no bulge where my phone should be. I blurted out an expletive and quickly told the driver I needed to go back to the car. He told me there were a couple other passengers in the shuttle and if they needed to get to a gate we would have to wait and come back. If we had to wait we would miss our flight. Luckily both the other passengers were understanding and not late, so we were able to turn around and grab my phone. Crisis averted.
We arrived at the terminal and went through the bag check process. La was annoyed by my forgetfulness and she tilt registered for the flight without checking all our bags. The leftover was a light duffel bag we often carry with us, its bulky and annoying to lug through the airport, especially when we can check it for free. I wanted to run through the menu again and check the bag, but she just wanted to carry it. We disagreed, she walked off, and I tried to stumble through the registration process without her. I massively failed at trying to re-register and check a bag and I ended up with a second boarding pass and a duffel bag.
I was steamed a little from our argument and my struggles with the front desk people and their automated systems. I made my way to security, quickly jammed everything into the bins and went through the scan. I then emptied the bins completely and caught up with La at the gate. I calmed down, caught my breath, sat down and did the pocket pat down. This time my travel roll was missing, and my heart dropped…
When I started traveling some of the old school road gamblers I traveled with taught me to never keep all my roll in one spot. Keep a little money handy, but don’t let the world know how much money you are traveling with and make yourself a target. I’ve lived by that wisdom ever since and never had more than a dime or two w my ID. So my concern wasn’t so much for the money, it was just a couple buy-ins. In true poker player fashion I was more worried for my credit cards, ID, health insurance card, etc. and the hell of automated menus, lines, and forms it would take to get them back.
I double checked my pockets and bag and ran back to security. My mind started racing and thinking about the shady TSA agents who stole electronics out of people’s bags and sold them on eBay. If they would steal an iPad out of a suitcase they could certainly grab a loose roll some sloppy tourist left out in a bin right? By the time I got back to the checkpoint I had almost convinced myself one of the TSA agents had snatched it out of my hat, where I tossed it when I was hurrying through the first time.
I ran back into security and started talking to a TSA agent. He asked me all the standard have you checked everywhere questions and I affirmed that I had. Then he asked me which line I went through and I pointed to the line. He went over and started talking to his agents. They stopped the belt and did a quick inspection. While I was giving them suspicious looks they were looking everywhere they could think to and they didn’t find anything. There were about ten people waiting in the line that were also watching with annoyed looks waiting to get on with their travel day.
So at this point I had five TSA agents and a couple lines of travelers looking at me and the TSA agent came back over and asked me again if I was sure I checked everywhere. I assured him I had and I hadn’t seen it since I put it in my hat. To emphasize the point I lifted my hat off my head… and that’s when my roll fell out and landed on the metal table with a “thump”.
It was a strange wave of emotions that followed. I was relieved, embarrassed, amused, and ready to get the hell out of there. So I did all I could do really, I laughed, grabbed my roll off table, mumbled some half-ass apology about not sleeping, and bounced. After a rather rocky start, the CO trip actually went very well. It was a great stop and we had an amazing time on and off the felt. If I find some more time and motivation I might follow this entry with a short trip report of the rest of our mile high adventures.