Sunday, September 16, 2012

What Would the Italians Do?

September 12

44, 43, 42, 41, 40, 39, 38. The temperature gauge on the Subaru plummeted as we neared the drop off point west of Austin. Thirty one degrees was the final answer, a cold I was not prepared for, since my winter gear is not set to arrive until Friday. As luck would have it, Dad had a extra jacket that fit me perfectly. Quite a miracle when you consider I am six inches taller and outweigh him by forty pounds.
My old nemesis the sun helped as well, my sudden ally banishing the chill within an hour of first appearance. I shed the jacket by the Reese River, a mere trickle undeserving of the title. In the 1880s Reese River was a joke played on fools back east looking to earn a quick payday. A phony "Navigation Company" was formed and stock sold. If the bamboozled buyers had done their due diligence, they might have discovered the waterway is only inches deep and a few feet wide.
Late in the day I stumbled onto the crumbling masonry of a more concrete business venture, the stagecoach. John Butterfield, "the Stagecoach King" operated a horse and carriage service, delivering mail and passengers from Salt Lake City to Genoa, Nevada beginning in the early 1860s. They were wildly successful caompared to the better known Pony Express. The Express folded in less than two years, the stage line lasted until 1869. Butterfield had wisely sold out to Wells Fargo in 1866.
The mercury by now had long abandoned the depths of the thermometer in favor of loftier heights. I had begged for the sun to appear earlier, now I rued our alliance. I pondered 20th century history for a solution. What would the Italians* of World War I and II do. I couldn't change sides, the sun has no natural enemy. So I ran away and ate dinner.

*If we here at Thoughts Askew have failed to offend your ethnic group, race, gender, political party, or religion please drop us a note, we would hate for anyone to be left out - Editor.

21 miles/3610 total miles

1 comment:

Josh Gillespie said...

Alastair, like the close with 'ran away to eat.' Isn't that just the way of the world? Thanks for taking time to say hi on my birthday with the FB. Stay safe out there! Josh