Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sochi from My Rearview Mirror: Part Two

Prologue: While I was preparing for, and attending, the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi,  Russia, I was asked to blog for our local newspaper, the Colorado Springs Gazette. I warned them that 1) the connection may be a challenge, and 2) it may be a challenge for me to blog on a regular basis because - after all - I had other things on my mind at the time. I did manage to get two blogs done before we arrived in Russia

My Road to Sochi: Into the Wild Blue Wander

Departure day. It snowed – a lot – overnight and I awoke at 5AM to my Weather Channel app recording -14f. Last-minute shuffling of clothes, enough paperwork to make up for the nearly five pounds I calculated for my carry on, and last minute concerns about shoveling my mother’s walkway before we left, put us at our departure limit. Under “normal” circumstances, getting to DIA for our flight, with enough time to keep me from having an anxiety attack, would be approximately two hours. To humor me, my husband had allowed three. Pushing that to the limit, we scraped, brushed and started the car, loaded the luggage and bid farewell to our house for 14 days, leaving things in some semblance of order for my daughter who was coming to stay in our absence. We headed to my mother’s complex, put out her trash, shoveled and sanded her walk, kissed her on both cheeks, assured her we would be “just fine,” and headed out to the highway.

Gingerly sliding down the on ramp to the highway at Cimmaron Street, we were fairly sure we had left in enough time to park our vehicle and take the bus to the terminal. With more than two hours to spare before we had to be through security, it looked as if we were on our Road To Sochi. Excited chattering ensued.


Traffic on the highway was at a crawl - and then a dead stop. We pondered our options as we approached the ramp at Bijou Street. Not one to just sit and do nothing other than panic and complain in situations like this, I jumped on my trusty iPhone and immediately onto Twitter where I had been already making bold predictions about our timely arrival for the flight to Dulles, which was our departure point to Frankfurt. 

“Who knows what’s happening on I-25?” 
I started tagging media sources with the same question. Bijou Street exit was in the cross hairs and it had already taken 10 minutes to snail up to that point before we hit the point of no return. 
I tagged our local paper, the Gazette. 
"What's happening with the traffic on I-25 northbound please?” 
Please Note: 1) I was NOT driving, and 2) I HATE auto correct at times like this!

Literally seconds later a report came back. 
“Crash north of Tejon, which was just now removed.” 

If we stayed on the highway, we were going to miss our flight. Without hesitation (on my part, at least), we dove off the highway, onto Bijou, down Cascade then over to Nevada, returning to a traffic-free highway at the Fillmore ramp. It was going to be tight, but we were going to make our flight, barring any other issues.

We cruised up I-25 towards Denver International Airport. As we approached the turnoff, the snow dissipated and then disappeared. As if on cue, a bald eagle flew over our car and soared into the cotton candy clouds. We were actually on our way, thanks to some quick thinking, and a heads up "Tweep" at the Gazette - who doesn't know to this day that he or she played a huge part in clearing the path on our road to Sochi.

I love social media; I work in social media. I spend a better portion of my free time on Twitter and Facebook. Time suck? Maybe sometimes, but not today..

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