The setting is Denver. Tuesday morning. I’ve been in Denver for 10 days now and the city is appealing to me in a way I didn’t expect. I know I will miss it tremendously. As much as I like it, I really need to go to New York City (spend some time with the lady friend). I had checked Craig’s List for anyone going to New York City, anyone going East really, but nothing came up. I was hoping to find a student returning to school on the East coast or parents driving their kids for their first year in university. No such luck. I even posted a ride request, but the closest I could have gotten was Ohio (about 10 hours West of New York City) and that would have taken me two days. Because I had my heart set on doing the Montreal loop (Montreal-Toronto-Chicago-Denver-New York City-Montreal) on land, I checked with Greyhound and Amtrak for their Denver to New York City prices. Greyhound didn’t have it available on their site (I would have had to call) and Amtrak was around 240$. Just so we’re on the same page, that’s 240$ to be sitting in a seat on a train for two days straight. I suppose it’s better than the Greyhound alternative which, if I had to guess, would be closer to three or four days. I decided to swallow my pride and check airlines for prices. I quickly found a ticket from Denver to New York City, direct, for 212$. As much as I wanted to feel like a hardened traveller and do the West to East road on land, it was an easy choice. Even if I had found a ride East, I probably would have ended up pay a lot more for gas, food and lodging.
After saying goodbye to my friends, I got on my eastbound flight on Tuesday afternoon.
Then I flew.
Then, 3 hours later, I landed in New York City. I’ll admit that it was neat to see night lights from the air. It was also a bit shocking to travel essentially the same distance that had taken me around 34 hours to cover over the past few weeks in 3 hours.
Traveling by flight, while way more time efficient, almost feels like cheating. It removes the feeling of accomplishment, progress and tactility you get from overland travel. Having to wait 20-ish hours to reach your destination really makes you appreciate the moment you see the highway sign welcoming you to where you’re going.