Time Travel: Philly to Phoenix and back in 52 hours

Time travel is real. I did it this past weekend. I went back in time, to a different world, and then into the future. Amazing.

Friday afternoon, I boarded a cramped metal tube and was catapulted through time. After a slightly bumpy ride, we arrived at our destination 3 hours earlier than our time.

A different world! The environment we had left had been a cool, rainy 60 degrees. We exited our capsule to an arid 106 degrees. Instead of waving deciduous trees, newly green with the spring, we saw stunted trees and twisted cacti. Brown, sandy desert replaced my soft green landscape.  Mountains towered on the distance, dwarfing the sprawling intrusion of humanity.

We enjoyed our visit to this other world. Time spent with longtime friends, an exploration of nearby South Mountain with its grand vista overlooking the city, and culminating in a beautiful renewal of vows for my friends celebrating their 21st anniversary.

Although Phoenix is a modern city, the Western landscape evokes the Wild West and time long past. Stone structures on South Mountain brought the old time atmosphere to life. And spending time with a friend you’ve known for 32 years brings the inevitable nostalgia and memories. The past was very present out there.

Sunday morning we climbed into the tiny tube again and reversed course. Aside from a seatmate who had an inflated idea of his own personal space, the ride was pretty smooth. And when we arrived back in the cool (and still rainy) airport, we were 3 hours ahead of where we had started.

We had come back to the future.

For all its discomfort, air travel is truly amazing. To be able to travel 4,600 miles in about 9 hours of flight time in order to visit friends for a single day is a minor miracle. I am a terrible flier who often has panic attacks on the plane (fun!), but I am grateful I live in a time where such speedy travel is possible.

I am, however, waiting eagerly for transporter technology to become a reality…

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