My buddy Mel joined me in Utah for the weekend last week. It was so good to see an old friend. The first thing I said to her was, “Okay, I have no really close friends in the UK, just polite acquaintances so if my hair is looking weird these days it is on you to check me into reality”. It was a whirlwind visit partially due to the amount of driving we had planned. But she and I have a long history of road trips, and what’s better than getting in the car, setting cruise control and talking through the night with a friend? I realized once again that I like driving... in the U.S. that is. Driving at night through Utah is like standing in the dark and feeling someone’s presence right behind you but you’re not quite sure. Every once in awhile the headlights illuminated a massive rock formation just at the side of the road, but for most of the time it was unseen. The next morning we found ourselves marvelling around us at what we had missed on the drive down.
We got off to a bumpy start as Mel’s travel arrangements were messed up. We didn’t get down to Moab until 2am. When we got into our hotel, there was a sign at the counter saying that the clerk would be back in 5 minutes. As we stood there waiting, a willowy man walked in with a big smile on his face as he said, “Heyyy”. Mel and I had to laugh once we got into the elevator. We got the impression that he had been altering his mind in those 5 minutes, but he was happy and hospitable.
We started the day off at Denny’s for breakfast. We had a waiter that was a little crazy but also very good. Before we left he made us to-go cups of coffee and tea for the road. I wanted to hug him because it was so nice to get real service!
After a drive across the desolate Utah interstate, we met up with my dad and his friend. It’s been over a year since I have seen him so it was great to catch up and see him. He also enjoyed the scenic drive in Utah. After a relaxing lunch, they checked into their hotel while Mel and I headed back up to Salt Lake City for the night. We had talked of seeing a movie but we crashed instead.
The next day I had to drop Mel off early at the airport and I had time to kill before my flight. It’s strange how lonely those hours felt waiting for flight time. I guess it’s because I had just left the company of my father and dear friend and had quite a journey in front of me to get back home.