Hello Card  -  Volume 16  -  Paul Card Number 0  -  Sat, Sep 1, 1990 05:37 PM

I missed a plane flight for the first time in my life last week; here's how it happened:

I left Digital's Portland office for an easy drive to the Portland airport at 3:00 PM Tuesday afternoon. Ten miles from the airport, I was vaguely aware of a radio report indicating the closure of the freeway between point X and point Y - both unfamiliar to me. As I was fumbling for the map, an exit passed me by. While adjusting to the fact that the NEXT exit was where the closure began, I came upon three solid lanes of stationary cars. It took something over an hour to do the two miles to the next exit, and another hour from there to get to the airport.

To compound matters, a cheap Mexican meal the previous evening had violently disagreed with me - and I was all but bent over double in pain when I finally left my car at the airport, in desparate need of a bathroom.

The ticket agents were amused to see me, more than an hour late, asking about flights to Salt Lake. They did get me home (sans baggage), though, so it all worked out OK.

Other recent travel woes: a couple of cancelled California trips, including one to Sacramento. I was to have arrived the day John left there for Salt Lake - so while I didn't get to look up Drury, I did see John.

But I think my travel disaster of the season would have to be two nights spent in Boise when I couldn't get a hotel room. The competition for rooms was fierce, with an RV convention and a wrestling match simultaneously scheduled in the city. Finally I located a Garden City $25 cash-in-advance motel run by Orientals who thought they knew the language but didn't, mostly.

At that, I guess I was lucky: earlier in the evening I had stopped off at Digital's Boise office, and managed to set off the security alarm and scramble the local police. In retrospect, while I did survive the sleazy hotel experience, I'd be inclined to think seriously about the hoosegow next time.

It's to be hoped that my luck in travel will change for the better in the near future.