Now that a couple days have passed, I can hop on and let everyone know how I got home, as unlike the rest of our valiant writers, I did not fly. I drove out to PC and, obviously, had to drive back.
Friday morning, after everyone had left for the airport, and with about a hour and a half to spare before checkout, I went about final packing for the trip home. This meant emptying the cabinets and fridge of any food worth taking with me, disconnecting the internet cabling and network, taking apart the computer and then doing a couple checks through the condo to make sure nobody left anything (Eric, you left your swim trunks, but I got them, and I’m wearing them, and nothing else, right now). As I’d gotten word that snow was in the forecast, I wanted to make sure I was on my way out of PC and the Canyons before things got too “skiffy” (thank a Utah state trooper for that term and ask Dan Mirvish for an explanation). I still had some unfinished business in town, having to return some films to the press office, return the cable modem to Comcast and, ultimately, return a crappy internet hub to Staples (14 days, no questions asked refund on all electronics), so I couldn’t leave immediately. Instead, I took one last shuttle tour to the HQ, and then went to Main Street to shoot a little Sundance b-roll. During this Main Street adventure, I met a former girlfriend of Richard Kern (if you don’t know, well, that’s your business) and she and I decided to make our last Main Street trek together.
After parting ways at the bottom of Main Street, I made my way back to the condo parking garage and hopped in the car. The time was 2pm, and I expected to be home that evening by midnight, 2am if weather caused trouble. I’m telling you now, neither timetable was accurate.
Upon exiting Park City and getting through the Canyons, I came across snow showers that would be with me, in varying degrees of slippery-ness and visibility, throughout the drive through Utah. Nothing horrendous (nothing like “The Post-Slamdance Storm That Almost Killed Kim and I” in 2002), but driving was slow-going.
Once out of the stress of snow-driving, my eyes began to do their involuntary crossing thing, which is something that happens to me when I’m getting really tired. So, I decided to pull off to a rest area and take a nap. I did so in the driver’s seat, and only slept about a half hour. Upon getting back on the road, feeling refreshed, I noticed that my eyes were still doing the crossing thing. Meaning, I needed more sleep. 50 miles later, I found another rest area and immediately pulled over. This time, I climbed in the back seat and stretched out, facing the front of the car.
After two hours of that, I got back on the road and, I s**t you not, 50 miles later had to pull over again and sleep. It was getting ridiculous but, at the same time, my eyes were not cooperating with me at all. This stretch was scarier because I tried to fight them, tried to force them to stay awake and all that did was lead to that moment when you hear the loud, repeated scrapes as your tires go over the side line and you realize, s**t, I NEED to pull over NOW. So, this time I slept in the back seat, facing the back of the car, curled up fetus-style (as it was warmer). About 4 hours like that in a random rest area.
When I woke up, all was good. My eyes were no longer messing with me, and the drive was similar to the drive out. When all was said and done I was home and in my own bed by 10am Saturday morning, 21 hours (an hour difference between PC and LA) after I’d left Park City. I’ve been in self-imposed hibernation since.
But I’m awake now, and ready to face the short sprint to SXSW. In the meantime, all the reviews I wrote will finally be on the site and I’ve got a few more video pieces that will make their way online as well. To Pete, Don, Michael, Eric… great job! It was an unbelievable task that we assigned ourselves (okay, that Eric and I assigned everybody, but still) but we pulled it off and I couldn’t be happier. Next year we’ll figure out more party-time and/or downtime (because we ALL needed it), but thanks for rocking it with a smile this year.
Can’t wait for SXSW!