Last month, I flew to Reno for the Soaring Society of America’s biennial convention, and was it ever a change from Houston. Houston was already in an early (and flat)Texas Gulf Coast Spring. Reno not so much: surrounded by mountains etched against the sky in dry clear air, under tangles of lenticular clouds, Reno was winter-brown.
And then it snowed. A lot.
That was a shock to the system for me and all the Southern Californians, Floridians, and attendees from the Southern Hemisphere. Some had a tough drive or a delayed flight getting there. But a good convention was had anyway – with old friends, interesting news, and an exhibit hall full of dream machines. (A non-soaring-pilot friend saw this picture and commented, “I didn’t know gliders are so BIG!”)
And Reno? The sun came out. The snow sublimated, melted, or stuck around in (relatively) harmless and picturesque places.
Travel is a cognate to the nowadays more ominous word travail. The root meaning still works. Travel is challenging even with cars and jets. It’s debilitating, as any airline pilot can tell you. Yet when you travel you meet people and places you wouldn’t at home, and you may see wonders. Or even unexpected reminders of home.