The scene from here

SAN DIEGO – It is easy to forget how much a miracle modern-day travel is.

One can wake up in the morning and be anywhere in the United States that evening.

All it takes is time, money and an airline schedule lining out.

Such was the case this week when one wakes up "here" and is "there" that evening and the "there" happens to be a smoldering hot San Diego.

And by hot, I mean stupid hot. Well over 90 degrees every day so far. So hotter than Arkansas. Hotter than most places in the south. 

On the other hand, the sandy beaches of the Pacific and the ocean breezes make up for the heat. 

So, trade offs.

San Diego is just the first leg of this journey, as the long awaited and long-delayed, quest to visit all 50 states will be complete when a flight from here, Lord willing and Hurricane stays away, takes us from Southern California to Salt Lake City, and Utah, then a drive to Idaho with Yellowstone National Park as the destination.

Yellowstone has been a bucket list place to visit for as long as I can remember and, hopefully, the weather will hold up

Thinking about Yellowstone makes me remember Mike Watson though.

Watson, the former Maumelle mayor, had also long dreamed of a trip to Yellowstone and while serving as Mayor, he had arranged an anniversary trip there.

So, then the news broke that the Republicans in Congress had, in a feud over spending, shutdown the federal government. And knowing that he was there, I thought it was worth a call to see what he thought and if it interrupted his plans,

It had.

First, he was surprised he had cell phone service. Second, he knew the park was shut down because I reached him just as he and his wife rolled up to a locked gate and he could see the park but couldn't go in.

I've thought about that moment a lot over the years.

To be so close and still not being able to pull it off.

It seemed particularly acute the last two and going on three years of the still ongoing pandemic.

This is a very long way of saying that news coverage is a little skimpy this week and the next.

Paid subscriptions make this reporting possible

Subscribe if you like, pay if you can