Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Bucket List - Ute Football Road Trip

Paul hates to fly.  It’s not the actual flying part that gets him; it’s the fact that you turn control of your life over to the commercial aviation system from the moment the automatic glass doors shut behind you.  They tell you what you can carry, what you can eat, what you can wear and when to take off your shoes.  We both agree that this is a small price to pay for the safety of the American skies.  Paul’s solution is – drive, don’t fly.

We’ve been tailgating at the University of Utah football games for several years, and our group goes to at least one road game a year.  Paul’s dislike of flying combined with my limited time off work had conspired in previous years to make it so we couldn’t go on the road trips.  Retired now – no more scheduling around work!  We purchased our tickets to the Arizona State game (September 22) in May.  We left for Phoenix on September 19, stayed two nights in Mesquite, Nevada and met our traveling Ute cheering section in Sedona, Arizona.  We drove into Phoenix on September 22 and arrived on campus in time for the Ute Tailgate Party.

We thought the tailgate party was great fun!  The food was good, the beer and wine were free, and the Ute marching band and cheerleaders ensured the school spirit was high.  Our more experienced friends said the tailgate parties were normally a lot more rowdy, but since this one was indoors it seemed a little more sedate to them.  An indoor tailgate party?  It was 105 degrees outside – we were grateful for the air conditioning!
Our heartfelt thanks go out to the Arizona State parking system.  We parked in the disabled lot closest to the stadium, where a golf cart was waiting to take us to the tailgate party.  After the party we hitched a ride on another cart that took us to the stadium, where we were able to catch yet another cart to take us to the nosebleed section where our seats were.  Paul was able to get in and out of the game with limited walking – yeah!  At 7:00 PM under dark skies it was still 101 degrees outside.

So we made it to the game – what happened to our football team?  It seemed like the Arizona State Sun Devils scored with every possession; the Utes couldn’t stop them.  Of course, every time ASU scored they set off fireworks.  Paul and I caught up on the fireworks displays we missed by being in the mountains on July 4.  A disappointing finish to a great road trip – but, oh, well.  There’s always next year.

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