...and because certain thoughts have been with me constantly in the last few days, I need to write about the other side of trips such as my sojourn in Montana.
It's not as if I don't enjoy them. I did, after all, take the preceding photos for myself as well as all y'all, and it's impossible not to feel pretty damn good when looking at some of the views you've been seeing here.
There were more, of course, but not as nice as those posted or perhaps somewhat repetitious...
Still, the fact remains that all is not as it may seem.
For starters, these trips are excruciatingly short. Montana lasted three days, some 11 hours of which were taken up by flights, sitting in airports, etc. Another 10 or so hours were consumed by "dead" time in the hotel, waiting for things to happen. Add sleep and you can see that time spent doing things was a smaller percentage of the total than it should/could have been.
In fact, all of the photos were taken within a 14-hour period.
The fact that I get there at all is precious, I admit. Even if the budget allowed me to zoom off to Whitefish Lake -- or other neat places I've been -- at will, it definitely would not accommodate the class of lodgings and other amenities I'm used to experiencing on these "business" excursions.
What grinds on me is that I want to revisit those places in a more leisurely manner. At least two -- this corner of Montana and Mallorca -- are places I could see myself living if the Lottery Fairy waved her wand over me.
Each breathtaking scene has behind it the subconscious knowledge that in a moment I will have to beat feet to the next scheduled stop. Some of my colleagues have become blasé about this stuff. I haven't, and won't. Not ever.
I'll say it's better to have seen them briefly than to have stayed home looking at other peoples' pictures and imagining what it would be like to experience them.
But I will also say that for a big kid who is eternally curious about people and the places they live in (or near), and who can be moved by the sight of mountains reflecting in a serene lake, these trips still border on torture in that single specific way.
There is another factor, a sense of semi-derangement brought on specifically by this last trip and someone I met at our lodgings. But I'm not going there; no need to announce publicly -- at least to the handful of people who read this -- that I'm even more of a wacked-out wimp than you think I am.
Overall, I'd rate this trip as a 9.2, very high considering I can only think of maybe three that approached the 10.0 score.
But the better the trip, the more frustration and unhappiness caused by the transitory nature of my visits....
17 hours ago