Monday, October 16, 2006

Rocky Mountain High


I find myself back on a plane, headed for scenic Denver. Not something I thought I would be doing, but here I am.

The best feature about my flight is the video display on the back of the seat in front of me. For free I get to watch a graphic of the plane superimposed over a mapquest map, showing altitude, air speed, and location. Way cool in a geeky sort of fashion. Now I know what city I'm looking at out the window, whether the pilot tells me or not. For $5 I could watch a Direct TV feed of various channels, but who needs it?

I also showed #3 son how to go online and track my flight, which I hope will ease some of the issues he been having lately. Between that and the excellent video conferencing capabilities of Skype, he should be OK.

The Denver airport is gargantuan. It's also about thirty miles from anywhere I need to be. With all of that room and the traffic flow, you think there would be something to DO there when you're stuck there. But unless you want to spend way too much for the usual airport touristy crap, there's not. Especially if you don't drink.

Last time here I spent an afternoon driving up Lookout Mountain, and going to the very touristy Buffalo Bill museum. I wish I'd had more time to get off the tourist track. But the view was spectacular, and I bought the usual useless trinkets for the kids.

The thing I could not get used to was seeing open land with nothing cultivated on it. Back home if there's an acre or two of open field, someone is growing corn or soybeans or wheat on it. Out here, hardly anything grows, even when the land is left to Mother Nature to plant. It really makes me wonder why folks originally settled the area to begin with.

Perhaps I'll have time to find out on this trip, but I'm not holding my breath. There's a train ride I'd like to take, if I get the time. But chances are I'll end up barely having the time to accomplish what I'm really going there to do.
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