All I wanted was a cactus {Montana- Arizona}

by tatjannam

I’m not a morning person, so of course as the fates would deem it , the only flight I could find was at 7 am. You know the drill, be at the airport 1-2 hours early and then wait for a man/woman with rubber gloves to go through your current worldly possessions, only to realize a dime has wedged it’s way down into the deepest recess’s of your pocket, turn around do it again. Thank God I had grabbed a little caffeine (with an obligatory immodium) before the flight.

I had figured I’d best be on the ball, so I had checked in via the internet the night before my flight, where I was able to print out my ticket, along with a tree killing amount of ad’s, weather forecasts and games. The next morning I’m standing in line and I begin to feel inferior about my ticket, it’s folded and not near as classy as the ones printed out at the station, it looks like a child left to play in mud puddles after rolling in dirt, compared to all the other tickets. But it’s legit and after some ho-hum security stuff, I’m walking down the Jetway to my plane. AND, coincidentally my father who somehow ended up on the same flight as me on his way from Helena to LAX. Nothing like an early breakfast with your dad 30000 feet up, While the peaks it’s morning rays over the horizon.

I had a 3 hour layover in Seattle, the weather was…..Well. it was Seattle, I decided to step outside after my dad made his way to his connection. I needed air. There is only so much a person can take at 9AM and 20 screaming children, 5 angry passengers and 2 gossip queens speaking into their phones like it was a loudspeaker isn’t on that list. I made my way to the terminal doors and out onto the street. Ahhh Rain, hello! After a awhile I got caught up in a conversation with a airport personnel and the next thing I knew it was time to go in. The guy I was talking to walked with me as our conversation was pretty interesting and when I got to security I almost screamed. There were at least 100 people in that line. I was sooo going to miss my flight. My new found friend, however, had other plans and beckoned for me to follow him around the edge of the line to a sign that said premiere passengers. Alright, Aunt Tawny here we are he said with a wink, and asked if I could go in. The security guard did his thing and I was through security in 5 minutes! YES!!!

After about 2 hours in the sky I was treated to a wonderful sight. The Grand Canyon from the air. Now I have been to the Grand Canyon before and I have seen it’s splendor, but to see as you are descending from the sky, is magnificent, like the earth made a heavy sight and exposing her ribs and that moment was frozen. The plane descended into Phoenix and As always I was nervous, the pilot did an exceptionally sloppy job of landing to the point where the older lady next to me grabbed my hand with both of hers. And there you are caught in a moment that was somehow comforting and frightening and not in the least bit awkward, though it should have been.

I found myself stripping off layers as I crossed the Jetway into the terminal and down into the baggage area, 85 degrees and desert air got me before I ever hit the doors. I saw my sisters smiling face and that was it! ROAD TRIP! Since the flight ran out of food before me, I was famished, we bought up as much junk food as possible and hit the highway. All I expected out of the Arizona desert was a picture of me with a cactus, that’s it. I don’t think that was too much to ask being as there were only a billion of them lining the highway. Every rest area we stopped at seemed to be void of this Arizona icon. I found myself giving a mental “finger” to the ones that lined the highway later. Just one damn cactus close enough to the road where we can stop.Just one…….Nope, not going to happen!

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The closest I could get to a cactus in Arizona….Across the rest area fence line…grrrr

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