Thursday, June 12, 2008


We have rooms.

My brother Jim (not the Scottish wedding celebrant -- that's a different Jim McQuiston) and I leave tomorrow for a two week trip out west. We land in Las Vegas then venture from there in a rented Toyota Prius. Jim's original idea was to rent a room in Vegas for the first two nights and then stop and stay wherever we happened to find ourselves for the rest of the trip. It's not a vacation, Jim reasoned, if we have to be places at designated times. Let's enjoy the ride, roam where the spirit wanders and settle wherever we are when it's time to sleep.

I like the theory but we're going to wander to many places that might not have accommodations available for us to drop in. We're east coast people. There's a Holiday Inn or Best Western off just about every Interstate exit here. Out west? I only know from looking at the map and reading the warnings on travel sites about making sure you keep enough fuel in your car because gas stations are far and few between but let's just say that there's a reason the words "desert" and "deserted" are so similar. I feared we'd end up hungry and cold sleeping in the Prius. My spirit was not going to wander happily if that happened.

On the other hand, the trip was Jim's idea. He booked his flight, told me plans -- few as they were -- and said I was welcome to join him. I didn't want to turn into Brother Buzzkill (not the Scottish wedding crasher -- that's a different Brother Buzzkill) imposing a schedule we had to keep when one of his reasons for the trip in the first place was to escape the rigidity of the daily grind.

After checking for hotels himself, Jim saw my concerns and agreed that we should book rooms. Or try to. Many of the places book solid months in advance and here we were making inquiries less than a week out. But we did it. Between the two of us, we have rooms for all but three days which we decided to leave open. We'll spend one day each in lodging within Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon and the rest in places nearby.

I am much relieved. Now, please excuse me. I have to pack.

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