The Long and Dusty Road to Boise

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My first hint that it was going to be a long, miserable day arrived when the TSA (Transportation Safety Authority, or, as I prefer, the Tyrannical Sneering Apes) took away my skin cream stuff. I just bought it the day before to keep my new tattoo happy. They mercifully left me with my deodorant and toothpaste. There was obviously something sinister about the tube of coconutty smelling white goo. It alarmed them. Perhaps they feared I would use it as a weapon – “I’m taking over this plane. If anyone moves I’ll squirt this all over you and make you smell like a coconut macaroon!” The horror, the horror . . .

So sad. I was looking forward to walking around all day sniffing my forearm – I like coconut macaroons. Anyway, after a couple of hours cooling my heels in Buffalo, I was off to Vegas again. But, first, I gotta mention that they have bronzish-looking statues of bison – North American buffalo – scattered all over the city of Buffalo. Is that to remind you of where you are? I don’t get it.

So, on the way to Vegas there was an interesting flight attendant. He was a big guy and he was black. No racial overtones here; it’s just not what you normally expect – not just black – big and black. He turned out to be quite the entertainer. On approaching Las Vegas, he kept calling it “Lost Wages” – it wore a little thin at the end. Overall, though, he greatly enhanced the otherwise boring trans-continental flight. I felt a little sorry that I didn’t thank him. On second thought, it occurred to me that he was a fellow that you would not want to say no to. I think he was ‘dual purpose’. Fortunately, nobody gave him any sass, so we never had to experience his dark side. He was great with babies.

At the Las Vegas airport, it was just as annoying as the last time except there were hundreds of people playing the slots instead of a couple – it was mid-day instead of the dead of night. It’s hard to describe the effect of having gangs of these twittering, banging, clanging money eating machines hammering at your eardrums for several hours. You can’t escape it; they’re everywhere. It’s like an aural Chinese water torture. Here’s the latest herd of suckers dropping next month’s rent into the mob’s pockets:

Suckers Unloading in Vegas

Taking off, I’m heading for Boise. That’s in Idaho. Americans who don’t live in Idaho think of it as, “Where they grow potatoes.” Actually, they do other things there as well. Anyway, on our way out, I got this nice shot of Vegas. The interesting thing here is that what we think of as Las Vegas (the glitzy bit) is amazingly small. Look at it (click the photo to get a bigger one). The showcase Vegas covers only a few square blocks:

Las Vegas from the Air

On boarding the flight, I feigned to be clever. It was ‘open seating’ and I was in group ‘A’ which meant I could get a front-row window seat. Oh, joy! I put my backpack on the floor in front of my seat and draped my legs over it, naively hoping that the flight attendant wouldn’t notice it. She did, of course. And, of course, the only space left for it in the overheads was several rows back. Now I could savor the prospect of swimming upstream to retrieve my backpack on landing or just waiting until everybody else was off. So much for me being clever; I really should stop trying.

The lanky young guy next to me was about eight feet tall and, I’m sure, was thanking his lucky star that he was able to nab a front-row seat. The only problem was that his elbows extended about half-way across the adjoining seats. He kept poking me in the ribs without seeming to notice he was doing so. Trying rather successfully not to be annoyed, I scrunched over toward the window and tried to sleep. No success there.

On approaching Boise I saw something that startled me:

Idaho Mountains

Yikes, I thought. I’m going down there! They’ve had a lot of snow (some said about 11 meters – actually they said 431 inches, but it’s America). I was greatly relieved when we landed and the temperature was mild – I got by with only a thirty year-old flannel shirt over my T.

Today I’ll be cruizing on my friend’s big Honda Shadow. I’ll check out the latest micro-brews and have a Fat Tire. On Saturday, it’s off to ride horses. I hope to get some good shots. Adios.

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One Response to “The Long and Dusty Road to Boise”

  1. More Fun with Google Earth | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    […] It’s mildly interesting to me that this shot bears a middling resemblance to an image that I captured from a commercial flight only about ten months ago. I was riding in a aerial cattle car from Las Vegas to Boise, Idaho. I wrote about it in The Long and Dusty Road to Boise: […]