On July 9, I had an opportunity to present Why Rural Matters 2013-14 on Capitol Hill with my colleague and friend, Daniel Showalter. Since I was in Albuquerque visiting, I had to leave July 8 (E’s birthday!) to fly through Dallas to DC. Things were going well…
until we got to DC and had to circle for 45 minutes, then get diverted to Dulles (from National) then back to National, and finally forced to land in Richmond, VA where we were deplaned, hosteled for the night, and finally put back on a 737 to fly the 20-minute route to National. We learned after landing that the cause was a nasty storm system in DC. My hotel room was at American Airline’s expense and was mostly okay except for the carpet being soaked by a leaky air conditioner.
We landed 10:30AM July 9 and I promptly took the Metro from National to the offices of Rural School and Community Trust (getting there around 11:30). Daniel brought my suit from Ohio and I used a bathroom stall to change into the suit. Then it was a quick lunch and on to Capitol Hill.
We entered the new Visitor’s Center and registered for our talk.
The briefing was hosted by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative “GT” Glenn Thompson (R-PA). You can see Rep. Thompson’s remarks on the floor of the House here:
We were pleased to have his support and the briefing was well-attended and went well.
After the briefing, I hopped into a cab for National Airport, and flew to Dallas. Our landing was slightly delayed by the President and First Lady’s visit to Dallas (they have to manage airspace around the president’s “luftilla.” On landing, we found out that our flight to Albuquerque was first delayed, then delayed, then delayed, and finally rescheduled for the next morning. Because there were NO beds in Dallas hotels, they added beds to the concourse area of the airport and I spent the four hours catching 20 minutes of sleep.
I got to know my fellow passenger on both flights very well. I finally landed on July 10 back in Albuquerque and was glad to not have to travel by air until August. The briefing was a success even if travel was frustrating.