Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Post-travel update

I came home Saturday night the 16th with a flourishing head cold that I probably picked up on the previous Monday's flights between Colorado Springs and South Carolina. It manifested on Thursday morning--that interval seems like about the right incubation time--and made the last three days of the conference I was attending much less fun.

M., meanwhile, had left on June 6 to see relatives in St. Louis. Her return trip on the 11th was disrupted, but this time, Amtrak did right by her--nothing like the trip last winter where we ended up taking a cab from Philadelphia to Washington.

She was supposed to meet the westbound Southwest Chief in Kansas City, but it had derailed on its way from Chicago. This time, Amtrak put her and other delayed connecting passengers in the nearby Westin Hotel. And the next morning she was able to continue on to Colorado.

People on the derailed train were bused to KC. Several told her that the engineer had handled the derailment--possibly caused by vandalism--like a pro. There were no serious injuries, which is one thing that I like about trains: the wrecks are more survivable.

Meanwhile I "enjoyed" a series of virus-laden metal tubes. No big problems, although we sat for twenty minutes on the tarmac in Chicago, passengers fanning themselves with the safety cards from the seatback pockets, while a problem with one engine's bleeder valve (??) was corrected. It was not as bad as Rod Dreher's experience with Delta:

This is going to be a miserable summer for air travel, with sprawling terminals serving as Dante-esque cities of woe. Abandon hope all ye who enter here – and don't forget the Advil.

So I did almost none of the writing that I hoped to do outside the conference sessions, there on a beautiful campus with wireless access everywhere. Yesterday I finished, I hope, an anthology contribution that has been hanging over my head. Now on to some book reviews and an article revision.



Blogger Rana said...

Ah, yes, the virus-laden tubes. I'm grateful I didn't catch anything this time 'round (perhaps because more people were from within my viral "watershed"?).

The only writing I did was journaling; now it's back to a frenzy of working on review, book, and perhaps blog - all with a panic of moving for flavor.

I hope your writing proceeds more smoothly!

10:41 AM  

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