Thursday, September 5, 2019

Wheels up, we're bound for Nevada

The first Packers game of the year just so happened to be on my flight out to Nevada. Here's the first blog post from my backpacking trip to Great Basin National Park. 

Fighting the start of rush hour traffic and the (hopefully) tail end of a nasty cold that sprung on me Labor Day, I arrived at the airport about an hour before departure and returned the Lexus I had been testing the week before for work. In the terminal, I met up with two friends Chadd with an external frame backpack, and Ben, who had just handed Chadd a dollar. A bet had been settled that I would arrive before them. The three of us checked our backpacking packs with the Southwest Airlines ticketing agent and headed upstairs to security, where I suggested a second bet over who would get randomly picked by the TSA for an “additional screening.” Thankfully nothing stirred their attention apart from two bags of granola in my carry-on. It was just granola, I promise. We found our gate at the far end of the C terminal and had about thirty minutes to kill before pre-boarding began. I pulled out my laptop and continued my afternoon’s work: writing about Volvo’s latest V60 Cross Country station wagon. Not a bad task on the to-do list before a backpacking trip west of the rockies. 

Wheels-up, I cued my iPod and put in another hour or so of work on our three-hour flight to Phoenix, our layover stop, before continuing on to Salt Lake City. After takeoff, the flight attendants informed us that we’d be able to watch the Packers-Bears game for free on this 737-800’s Wi-Fi. Ah, the sweet start of football season. I sat next to a grandma just returning to Arizona after a visit with her grandkids, who as I was shamelessly destroying said bag of granola, told me how she noticed the squirrels had eaten everything off the trees near Pleasant Prairie. I put my other headphone back in and tuned into the game. 2nd and 10.

With about an hour and twenty minutes until we land in scorching-hot Arizona, where the temperature is supposedly a fiery 107 degrees (why?), I’m diving into the guidebook I picked up about Nevada’s Great Basin National Park- our final destination in, where we’ll be backpacking three days through the Snake Range at over 10,000 ft.. I’ve never been to Nevada so I’m quite excited. I’m also more than eager to be in the mountains again, I’ve missed them.