Flying out of a small airport like Colorado Springs has its benefits. Like being able to long-term park close in to the terminal, check-in queues that are usually in single digits, and being one of the few people who gets to use PreCheck. What the airport gains in Mayberry-like, small town friendliness, it looses in efficiency and flexibility. Direct flights to anywhere besides Dallas (American’s hub) and Denver (United’s hub) are few and far between. If we’re lucky enough to have a direct flight somewhere, it’s going to be at some ungodly hour.

Like our flight to Atlanta this morning which left at 6:30 AM, in the dark, and the cold.

We did get to Atlanta before noon, so there’s that, and after picking up a rental car and checking into our hotel, we were able to spend the afternoon relaxing, napping, reading and obsessing about what I forgot to pack. It took me several hours but I finally figured out that the vague feelings of having forgot something have, for once, turned out to be correct. I’m short one pair of Smartwool boxer briefs. Not the end of the world, just a little wobble on the axis. Since we have to stop by REI tomorrow on our way up to Amicalola Lodge, to pick up the gas canister for my JetBoil, I can replace the briefs at the same time.

Our room on the Club level at the hotel comes with an offer to press two articles of clothing, for free. I expect that will be the last time I will see that particular amenity for a long, long time.

Dinner at Buckhead Diner was enormous. I know in a month, I’d be happy, happy indeed with a meal that has enough calories to feed an entire sumo wrestling club for an hour or so, but right now it’s a little over the top.

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