The End is Near

I’m almost done with a month on the road.

On September 14, I left home to start the first of a string of flying gigs that kept me away from home for 16 of the past 28 days. I estimate that I flew at least 3,000 miles during that time. (I flew about 200 miles just today.) I know I slept in 9 different hotel rooms — plus my camper — and ate in at least two dozen restaurants.

Right now, I’m stretched out on a Sleep Number bed — in other words, an overpriced, remote controlled air mattress — in Flagstaff’s Radisson hotel. The linens are nice. I’m watching the Weather Channel, angry that I just missed Stephen Colbert on Larry King, and amazed that there’s nothing else on worth watching.

Tomorrow is the last day of our Southwest Circle Helicopter Adventure. Normally, I think I would have enjoyed every minute of the trip. But somewhere about halfway through this week, I realized that I was tired of traveling, tired of being away from home.

Fortunately, my passengers want an early start tomorrow. So I’ll pick them up at their B & B at 8 AM and whisk them away to their last activity: a hike around the ruins in Walnut Canyon. I suspect that I’ll be too tired to join them on the hike in, so I’ll hang out in the rental car (a PT Cruiser, I think) or on a sunny bench and read until they’re done.

Then, it’s back to Flagstaff airport, where the helicopter has been fueled by the excellent crew at Wiseman Aviation and the hour-long flight back to Deer Valley Airport. I’ll say goodbye to my clients, give them the parting gift that I’ve been lugging around for the past five days, and high-tail it back to Wickenburg. With luck, I should be back in my own home by 3 PM.

I think I might spend the afternoon napping in my own bed.

Best of all is what’s on my calendar for the next seven days: nothing.

No books to write, no clients to fly, no meetings, no phone calls. I might even shut off my phone to keep it that way.

Okay, so I’ll be honest: I do expect to work next week. I need to start writing Leopard articles for Peachpit’s Web site. I’m hoping to knock off about 20 of them during the next two months. And I do need to start thinking about the video I’m under contract to do for MacPro Video. And develop a new brochure for Flying M Air’s multi-day excursions. And put together a proposal for the Navajo Film Commission. And create a package for Phoenix-area concierges.

But I’m not going to do it all next week. I’m going to take a little break and knock off just a few of the east tasks.

I deserve some time off.

What do you think?