Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Trains, planes and automobiles
I did a seminar in Atlanta this past weekend. Flew in on Friday, talked all day Saturday and flew home Sunday. Sounds straight forward enough; but, for me, some of it was a hell. The flying part was the antithesis of everything I love about paddling.

To begin, I had no control over anything. We sat in the Milwaukee airport for two hours waiting for a storm in Atlanta to clear. When we finally got there, I was faced with a hike (not a walk) down a terminal longer than some towns in my state. Then there was a ride down an escalator which had a drop of about 90 degrees. Are we there yet? Not likely.

Onto a train I went and began a journey that had more stops than Amtrak has between here and Chicago. Off the train and up another 90 degree escalator before taking a mini hike to the baggage area. I'll skip the comedy act of locating the (not free) hotel van outside.

The trip back was lightened only by the camaraderie of other passengers as we sat through delay after delay while waiting for the plane. Nothing (except my well-honed seminar) went on time. I didn't even get to camp out (hotels...that's for another day).

Instead of all this self-imposed torture, I would have rather been rolling out of a tent (with a 6" self-inflatable mattress) along the shore of a large body of water. I would rather have decided when and if to leave and which route I would take. I would have my kayak lying right there, pre- flighted and ready to go when the urge struck. A few bars would have been better than the crappy cookies on the plane, and I could have changed directions as the muse directed.

Now, I am looking forward to the summer and wondering how on earth I can get to Seattle, San Francisco, Baltimore and New York by kayak.

Paddle safe...
DS

4 comments:

JohnB said...

A 6" self-inflatable matress! Dude . . . certainly a product for the "whimps corner" at the local outdoor specialty retailer.

Just think, without this past weekend's experience(s), you would have had to write about the crappy weather we're having, and that you had in Atlanta.

Have you thought about getting a folding or a 3 piece kayak to take on the lecture circuit with you?

steve said...

Hey Silbs, i agree with you 100%, its hard to give up control over our lives, are we control freaks? you know what they say, Man plans, god laughs

Silbs said...

JB, no time to kayak on these trips, and why not be comfy? :)

Steve, we live in a world where we go no where faster and faster while sitting around.

DaveO said...

You are speaking to the choir for sure. I may have one more anti NWA tirade in me but only as an epitaph when the final NWA logo is replaced by Delta (likely the cause of your Hotlanta angst). I'd recommend the sheep/cow in the slaughterhouse line noises. It entertains the fellow passengers, gets you dirty looks from the TSA weenies, and lifts the spirits.