the return trip: halfway

Today’s workshop on electricity and magnetism went really well. I brought lots of stuff, they asked lots of questions, and it went directions that were surprising. It was fun. And then I left, packing two boxes of stuff in the trunk of the State’s econobox and heading up the road. The red rocks of southern Utah were back by a blue sky.

And then there was that wall of clouds. You can fill in the rest of the story. It took me four and a half hours to travel half the distance of a four and a half hour drive. I think I could have kept going and gotten in extra late, but being tired and tired of being where I was, I pulled over in the state’s “best kept secret,” according to the county travel magazine.

I have a room where I can watch college football and not move. There’s beer and road trip chips left.

But mostly it’s sad. I walked across the icy parking lot into the restaurant of this “Paradise Inn.” Confirming that my table was only for one, I was escorted into a back room, a booth against the wall under a low hanging incandescent bulb. I ordered the tomato soup and half sandwich. It all felt like the inside of a sad poem. I read the placemat that documented the history and festivities of the local area. Twice.

All things considered, I’m in a good spot. I’m comfortable, relaxed, with wireless access, and I have a couple of books. It’s 10:30, now so maybe none of that’s even necessary. (At one point, I thought I could do some grading while stuck on the road, but I’m now considering that a ridiculous idea, unless I get up early and bath in some coffee.) Even as I’m wistful for camaraderie and other adventures surrounded by a half glass full, my metaphorical glass is half full. With not too much trouble I should be able to be home in time tomorrow to return the car, help with science fair projects, finish that grading, and get to spend time at home.


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