Ultimate Utah...at Last
Ultimate Utah, Day 1: Home to Flagstaff, AZ
With all the chaos afflicting Atlanta's work week traffic after last month's bridge collapse on I-85, we opted to fly in and out of the city on weekend days. Since we moved north of Atlanta last summer, we find ourselves giving much more consideration to airport commute time than we did when we lived just half an hour south of the facility that continues to be the world's busiest airport. This morning's trip was relatively smooth and we arrived in just under an hour.
Inside the terminal lines were delightfully short and we breezed through the TSA Pre✓ line to the document review station. Four agents were on duty at four desks. One agent was checking passenger documents; three were socializing with each other and ignoring passengers waiting in line in front of them.
|These "innovation lanes" installed by Delta are meant to speed the bag screening process. (photo from CNN)|
Finally done with our most unpleasant experience to date with Atlanta's notoriously rude TSA agents, we retreated down the tall escalators to the transportation mall for a ride to concourse A. As we boarded the train, a burly TSA agent got on behind us, taking up position at the grab pole next to ours and giving us a close look at the embroidered arm patch on his uniform.
|Our 2017 Nissan Rogue|
We drove away wondering how they could make a profit renting at less than $20/day. As we examined the car's features (and lack of same), we realized that it matches its no frills rental rate. It is a pretty quiet ride though and promises 30 or more mpg on the highway. Too bad they didn't spring for some shock absorbers, but at this price, you can't expect to have everything. And, hey, they did include four tires. Let's not get greedy!
Arriving at the Hilton Garden Inn, we belatedly recognized it as the place we had stayed when we passed through the city in the winter of 2013. Snow was falling that night but not this one. After a quick dinner at the predictable Olive Garden nearby, we retired to rest up for the Grand Canyon tomorrow.
SATURDAY, 22 APRIL 2017
• Ended in: Flagstaff
• Miles: 1,752
• Weather: Clear, 65° to 96°
• Polite and helpful TSA agents: 1
• TSA agents encountered: 27
• Saguaros: 6,241
• Elk on the road: 0, despite numerous warning signs
Loved: Seeing our friends, the saguaros, again.
Lacking: Competence in Atlanta's TSA crew.
Learned: Enterprise is renting cheap! Thanks, big E.