We left at 5:00 AM for today’s speech meet. The kids were quiet, dozing under blankets and jackets with headphones in.

I spent the ride as I usually do – listening to podcasts and trying to find a comfortable position. I can’t sleep when I’m “on duty,” not because of any policy – I just can’t sleep. I did zone out for a while when I laid down across my seat and put my feet up on the seat across the aisle. I had to brace myself with one knee to keep from rolling into the padded back in front of me whenever we had a sudden stop for deer or a stupid driver, but having my back relatively straight let me close my eyes in somewhat-comfort.

I opened them some indiscriminate time later when I felt snow falling lightly on my face. Most of the windows don’t close on the bus, something I forgot when I debated which jacket to bring.

As the sun revealed snow-packed roads over Vail Pass the kids woke up and soon the bus was filled with the sounds of speechers talking to themselves, practicing their pieces.

I can’t say I’m happy to be working a 15+ hour day on the weekend, but these are pretty great kids to be doing it with.

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