I crashed tonight after a long day at work. I was sitting on the couch, watching my son and wife playing. The next thing I knew, my wife woke me up. I dragged myself to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. For some strange, inexpicable reason, I thought about visiting Golden Spike National Historical Site in Promontory, Utah in the fall of 2003. I was on a business trip to Salt Lake City at the time and had some extra time to explore the Beehive State. That day, I also visited Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake. My wife and son were far away, back home in Seattle. I remember the wide open spaces and subtle desolation of the area. I saw nary a tree in sight. Brittle rock formations around Promotory interrupted the landscape, and dried grassy plains blanketed the ground. Railroad tracks, a meandering, two-lane asphalt highway bordered by electrical poles, and a small memorial center cut a wide swath through the area. No one was around the day I visited except for briefly an retired couple from Minnesota tooling around in their RV. We wondered together why no one was manning the visitor’s center. I vividly recalled the shrill wind hitting my face, thundering in my ears. The day was bright, the kind that would leave you sunburned without shade or sun screen.
After lying awake for half an hour, I decided to wake up and do some work. It’s frustrating tossing and turning at night, thinking about all the things you have to do. Here I am, writing about something that happened almost two-and-a-half years ago, a fleeting memory that I had long since filed away in the recesses in my mind. Why this memory came to mind tonight, I have no idea. Perhaps I yearn for a simpler time. Dear Reader, has this happened to you?