4 Years ago, I took a long trip to Salt Lake City, UT in a big 40ft truck.. The Timex truck. That was my second event with Timex and first driving the big rig. This trip marked my first experience skiing. Oh, how things have changed in four years..
Salt Lake City hosts the Outdoor Retailer show twice a year, once in winter and summer. OR as it's dubbed, is an outdoor industry trade show of the largest sorts. Companies ranging in size from The North Face and Arc'Teryx to small companies like Icebreaker fill the thousands and thousands of square foot expo hall at the Sal Pal Convention Center. Timex is among these companies, thus my involvement. My duties at OR are to help Timex at the booth as well as meet with current team sponsors and prospective partners. However, this year I was off the hook. No work at the booth and only one meeting with my friends at Nathan Sports. This year it was all fun.
Traveling with me, by plane this time, was good friend and co-worker, Jack Hirt and outdoor adventure seeker, Lindsey Kriete. The three of us made our way to the airport late Wednesday afternoon and boarded the plane bound for SLC, arrival time 11:47pm. Everything was going as planned until luck happened to strike while at our layover in Phoenix, AZ. Our flight to SLC was overbooked out of Phoenix and they were looking for a few folks to get bumped off the flight and take an early flight out the next morning. 'Why not', we figured. Get a $300 flight voucher and spend the night in a hotel. We weren't going to ski at midnight when we got in on Wednesday anyway.
As we filled out the paperwork for our flight vouchers, Lindsey got a text from her friend, Mary in SLC.
"You guys!" She yelled. "We can ski for free tomorrow! Park City gives you a free lift ticket if you can present your boarding pass from the same day flight". It was true, all we had to do was show up with our boarding pass, which was now an early Delta flight, and receive a lift ticket worth $90.
I don't think a trip has ever started better than ours did. We each walked out of the airport with $300 flight vouchers, a free shuttle to our free hotel, the Crown Plaza (aka Crown Jewel), a $10 food voucher, and a free day of skiing in Park City the following day.
The Crown Jewel was no let down either. While chatting away with our new friend, a 70-something, retired cop turned GPS entrepreneur/cancer patient who had missed his flight and was pissed at the world. A stranger (to me) walked over to our table. "Holy crap, Rajinder?" Jack stood up to greet the man. It was Jack's professor from UW Madison, Rajinder Chauhan. What a coincidence, Jack's prof from 8+ years ago was in the same hotel in Phoenix, AZ... But that wasn't it. Rajinder, lives in India.. Hillstation, India and was just returning to the USA for the first time since leaving the University nearly 8 years ago! Of all the places in the world.. Rajinder and Jack reunite in the Crown Jewel.
After chatting with Rajinder for some time we scored some free drinks from an older couple sitting next to us and managed to make it to our rooms around midnight, 4 hours before our wake up call was scheduled.
What a day.. and that was only day ONE.