June 28, 2021- When I was in the military, one of my snarkier quad mates was fond of saying “Catch as catch can”, when he or others interrupted someone’s sleep in the middle of the night, or when food was in short supply. That phrase has, ever since, been a burr in my saddle-as if life is meant to be an endless competition, with the cup ever half empty-and “Oh, well”. I know that some, including one of my regular commenters, see the world that way-and more’s the pity.
I have learned to face life’s struggles a bit more stoically, and with a view towards getting through the matter, and drawing a lesson from it. This morning, I left Carson City, around 5:30, after a heartwarming and very full five day visit with extended family. The drive from Nevada’s capital city, to within forty five miles of Las Vegas, was smooth as silk and included stops at two of my favourite “Outback” places: Beans and Brews, in Tonopah and Fort Amargosa-across from the Area 51 Alien Center. There are, in fact, any number of places where one may get a warm welcome, between LV and the Reno/Carson area.
Smooth was the road, with little traffic; then came Indian Springs. The normally sleepy town, centered on Creech Air Force Base, was the scene of a traffic standstill, precipitated by a call to the US Air Force, claiming that a bomb was at Creech’s main gate. US 95 was thus closed, in both directions, for well over an hour. Now, the 200 or so people sitting in, or milling around, their vehicles were learning another connotation of the aforementioned phrase. We were catching comfort, as catch we could. I was able to do just fine, by shutting the engine off, and rolling down the windows. Every so many minutes, we were allowed to move forward, about a hundred feet or so. That was when I would put on the AC, for a 3-5 minutes, though it was, relatively speaking, not that hot.
Just after 2 p.m., the all-clear was given. I learned a bit about how to handle a certain emergency, in tie-ups like this, by watching how the party in front of me employed a 5′ x 10′ bit of fabric as a curtain. All in all, the sense of stoicism was pretty much universal, though, especially after word came from the front of the line that law enforcement was involved. Not much else was disclosed, at the time- I would learn of the bomb hoax later, whilst having dinner at Yesterdays, a small cafe in the old mining town of Chloride.
A hoax is just inconvenient, though. I feel for all those who lost loved ones in Surfside, FL and those who are enduring record heat in the Pacific Northwest. May there be relief, and soon.