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 Sinclairification by Grant Sinclair

Part 6: Obstacles Are Stepping Stones

03 Nov 2009

A good writer would begin the next story on the next day.  Then again, a good writer wouldn’t wait three weeks to finish writing, then backdate the story on his web site.  I am not a good writer, just a guy who likes to tell stories.  And I’m continuing this story from 30 October because that story isn’t finished yet.

If you recall, I got up at 5:30 AM on 30 October, flew out from Atlanta to Phoenix to Ontario, took the shuttle to Indian Wells, dropped off my bags and fleece there, headed to the concert, nearly froze, bought a shirt, and enjoyed the shows from that night.

After the concert I boarded the shuttle from the festival grounds to Indian Wells, but was caught me off guard when a driver stopped me from getting on the bus and asked to see my wrist band.  It caught me off guard because no one had asked before and I was tired, but the dude was just doing his job.  Can’t blame him.  Valley Music Travel has a system, you have to respect that.

But now I had a new situation.  I had a shuttle pass that brought me from Indian Wells to the concert field and back, but I still had to find my way to the Motel 6 in Rancho Mirage, where ever the hell that is.

I’ve been in similar circumstances before, and I was pretty sure I could handle this.  All I had to do was convince someone – anyone – to give me a lift.  An employee getting off work, a wayward Valley Music Travel driver, some guy (it’s happened).  And if it didn’t work out, no problem.  I could still take a cab for the low, low fare of only $10-$15.  How could I go wrong?

To start, no one would give me a ride.  Either they were working, or just couldn’t do it.  I tried to bribe a Valley Music Travel van driver, but he told me he was too busy bringing people from the concert venue to the hotel.  Wow, those guys are way more strict than I expected.

No problem, I’ll just get a cab.  I asked around, but the people at the hotel front desk and at the taxi stand must have misheard me, because they said it would be around $30.

This is not good, because $30 each night adds up in a hurry, especially when I budgeted for about $10 or $15.  But it was late, what choice do I have?  I even told the lady at the front desk, “The only reason I’m not staying here is because you don’t have any rooms left.”
“I think we do,” she said, and proceeded to check the computer.  “Ah, yes we have some rooms.”
“How much” I asked.
“About $200.”
Not bad.  “For the weekend?” I asked.
“Per night.”
It would cost me more money for one night in this hotel – which, by the way, was beautiful – than for my entire stay at the Motel 6.  Taxi!

The taxi arrived and I tried to negotiate a fare, but he insisted on going by the meter.  When it was all said and done, it ended up costing me $27.  Great.  $27 times three nights is more than I wanted to spend.  On the cab ride out there, I saw a lot of other hotels – closer hotels – and wondered why I didn’t book with them.  According to the Motel 6 employee who booked my room, after 6 PM, they were going to charge my credit card the full amount, so there really wasn’t anything I could do.

But that’s okay!  It’s all part of the adventure!  Obstacles are stepping stones, right?  Right!  I got out of the cab, went to the window and checked in for the weekend.  I made a comment to the guy, “Hey, I already paid for it, right?” “Oh, no,” he said. “We don’t charge your card until you check in.  We just needed the credit card to hold the room.”  Crap.

I signed the receipt, got my key and trudged up to my cheap hotel room.  Then I opened the door and found out why it was so cheap.  If you’ve ever stayed at an Economy hotel, it’s no secret why they have that title.  And I’m not going to complain, because the place had everything I needed, only because I brought my toiletries with me.

I hit the shower, got ready for bed, plugged in my phone and camera to charge during the night and looked around for the one piece of solace in every hotel room: the Do Not Disturb sign.  I couldn’t find it, but I was tired.  I checked the time on my phone: 2:26, California time, which means it is 5:26 Atlanta time.  I woke up in Atlanta, flew across the country, attended two sets of a rock and roll concert in the desert and have now been awake for 24 hours straight.  I love traveling

© 2009

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