- being the True and Compleat accounting of the author's journey westward, beyond Pike's Peak;
the which gained him, and his wife, membership in that most elite group of western Travellers -
Pike's Peak Busters.
by: C.J. Van Becelaere
Chapter the First
- An Incommodious Beginning
wherein our protagonists
are most rudely treated
and sorely misused.
        It was a pleasant enough Thursday's afternoon, all things being considered.  The sun shone, the wind but breathed, and an excursion lay ahead. 
        Then, it struck - a jam of traffick most heinous.  No worse time could  have been chosen for such an occurrence, as any delay of our arrival at the airport could not be 
accommodated by our itinerary; absolutely no slack time had been taken into account. 

        Such holes and spaces in the pattern of traffick as presented themselves did I use, but to little avail, for the cause seemed to be hopeless. Nonetheless did I persevere in my efforts, and they seemed, for a time, to be bearing some fruit.  Then, just as all seemed possible, a stop at a competing airline was required - Continental, it seemed, must wait for Republic. 

        Rushing, baggage-laden, for the check-in counter, there was a breathless moment 
wherein it seemed we had done the impossible, we had made our flight's departure time. 
But no sooner were our hopes raised than were they to be dashed on the realization that 
the flight had departed from the gate - a full five minutes ahead of its appointed time. 

        "Run," said the attendant, "Run for the United counter, for there, even as we speak, are they readying yet another flight bound for Denver, your destination! I'll call ahead with your reservation!" And run we did. 
        Willy-nilly through the airport, O.J. Simpson-like did we speed. Breathless and leg-sore, we arrived at the United counter. 

        "We are here!" was our nearly inaudible sigh, "And in time for the United flight to Denver!" 
        But it was not to be. "Continental," they said, "is a bankrupt organization, and we most happily must deny you any aid in your quest for Denver. 
        "They no longer honour their debts to us, so neither will we honour our debt to you." 

        Imagine, dear reader, if you can, our despair and consternation at this pronouncement; apparently we were not to gain Denver, let alone Santa Fe, our final goal, 
this day!

copyright by Charlie Van Becelaere, administered by Grand Teuton Press, all rights reserved
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