Twin Falls, ID…Home of Two Waterfalls. Clever! – 02.17.2017

“I Love the Sounds and Power of Pounding Water, whether it is the Waves or a Waterfall.”

Mike May

Let’s talk about layovers.

Sometimes good.  Sometimes painful.  If your schedule is tight outside of the airport, they couldn’t be more hated.  However, if you have some flexibility in your life, it’s not hard to make lemonade of the situation.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Every layover is inconvenient.  I know that.  The hard layover hurts.

I remember, about 12 years ago an enrollment in Cleveland I had to make it to, first thing in the morning at 7:00am.  A room full of AAA tow-truck drivers needing their benefits explained before they hit the road to save drivers in need.  I’m leaving from Pittsburgh in the late afternoon the day before the meeting.  Luggage check, I’m good to go.  I’m in my shorts, flip-flops and T-shirt and ready for a comfortable trip to Cleveland with a connection on the way in Washington D.C.

Well…I make it to D.C. on time, but the weather is so bad (blizzard like) that all planes leaving D.C. are held till the next morning for safe departure because they can’t de-ice them fast enough for them to not ice-up again.  Well this is a problem for me (an inconvenient layover, for sure).  The first available flight in the morning leaves to Cleveland at 6:30am and won’t arrive in time for me to be on time for my meeting.  What to do?

I decide to head straight for the Rental Car counter to get a car and try and drive through the night to Cleveland instead.  373 miles to get there.  About a 6 hour drive.  I know I’m not a good driver at night as I tend to get sleepy when staring into oncoming headlights, not to mention the blizzard conditions that I’m not accustomed to at all.  But, I’ve got to do it!  I’m a Super-Agent.  I got this.

So here I go.  Not exactly.  Another guy has the same idea as he just wants to get home to his family in Cleveland after a 2 week business trip.  I can relate to that feeling.  Not a completely smart and rational move on my part as I don’t ever feel the comfort of picking up hitchhikers, but in this case I’m the hitchhiker and I feel comfortable with myself.  I know, you’re already thinking more responsibly and rationally than my brain was after midnight in the D.C. rental car depot.  I’m about to accept a ride from a total stranger.  I have no idea how to get where we are going.  GPS on my Palm Pilot doesn’t exist so I’m trusting this gentleman is taking me to Cleveland and not some back woods area to kill me.  Dumb move for sure, but it ends up working out.  In fact, my wife Kat frequently calls me all through the night just be sure this stranger knows that someone knows my whereabouts and who I’m with to keep him honest and good the whole trip.  Yes, she is much more paranoid than I am in my obliviously trusting state.

We arrive at my location at 7:10am after crossing 3 states through the night to get there.  I am very thankful of the stranger for driving the whole way.  My job was talking to keep him awake which happens to be something I am very good at.

Arriving, I am still wearing yesterday’s flip flops and shorts for my open enrollment meeting.  It’s a bitter cold day and a presentation meeting, but here I am and once I explain my story to them they all forgive my appearances.  They probably just thought I’m just your average ole crazy Californian.  If they only knew about the time I UPS’d myself from Detroit airport to my in-laws in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.  That’s a story for another time.

Today this layover feels like a good one.  I catch up on a lot of work while waiting in the SLC airport 3 hours for my flight up to Twin Falls, ID.  Once in Twin Falls, I get directly to my meeting in Hansen, ID.  The presentation goes “mostly smoothly” (WiFi malfunction at the location hinders the coinciding webinar for Yuma, Colorado employees – we’ll hold a special one for them on Monday).  Meeting ends at 3:30pm and now I get to be a tourist of this beautifully constructed landscape.  The gorge at Snake River.  The Shoshone Falls.  The amazing expansion bridge over the river.  It’s a very good visit to the Magic Valley region.

After a great time gawking at the features, I head to the hotel for a quick dinner and rest in my room.  I’m happily exhausted.  Early 6:00am flight to LAX tomorrow morning awaits.  It’s bedtime for me..

Super-Agent out.