The long bus ride certainly takes its toll on enthusiasm, though the trip was mostly uneventful. Nick and Raleigh spent the Burley to Tremerton leg first discussing, then bickering, then arguing about the metaphysics and implications of light coming from stars. A futile and feverish exercise in the art of persuasion. In the end, it almost came to blows. Andrew continued Desi's rubik's cube education. The rest of our middle school team, Riley and Jake, quietly observed how high schoolers debate and interact in close quarters like they were attending a self-defense class. After Tremerton came the dreaded Ogden leg where each of the eleven chess players began asking "when are we going to get there? is there another bathroom break? can we stop and get something to eat?" and never paying attention to my answers to previous individuals' questions. I began entertaining myself by supplying different answers to each player.
Finally, the outskirts of Salt Lake City! Shane began wrestling with Curly and Andrew so I had a difficult time with the rear end of the bus. But, my strategy was to fatigue them with museum displays while we waited for a classic rock laser show to begin at 10 pm. I brought them immediately to the Planetarium in downtown Salt Lake City. Or should I say, Sanitarium? Raleigh started climbing a stone wall on a building and ripped a bunch of bricks down. They crashed on the sidewalk while I tried to look like I wasn't with the group of teens. My excitement for the weekend tournament is almost as fully dislodged as the bricks. My devious and subversive plan ironically worked, however. By the time we arrived at the Holiday Inn Express, all of the kids wanted into their rooms like my dogs wanting in from the yard for the night. Surprisingly, Raleigh ended up in the room with Nick.