The flight was EMPTY. There were probably about 30 people on board, and we had takeoff clearance before the last few people boarded. I think we even ended up getting out earlier than the new departure time.
Originally, I was scheduled to get in after tervicz, who was flying in from Charlotte, but because of the early departure, I beat him here. As I was picking up my luggage, I got a TXT from him, letting me know that he had just landed, so I went over to where people exit from the secured area and waited to find him. Only a few moments passed, and there he was! So, we trekked over to the baggage carousel for his flight, waited for his bags, and headed over to Avis to pick up an SUV for the trip. I ended up with a Ford Tux 4 - sweeeeet.
As we were leaving the parking lot, I got a TXT from redstorm, flying in from San Francisco, letting me know that she had just arrived as well. By the time we got back to the terminal, parked, and walked to the baggage claim area, she was finished getting her bags, and we were off to the Red Lion Hotel, Denver Central. I was starving, so we stopped at a Wendy's along the way, and picked up some foodage.
I'm sure the GPS was trying to be helpful, getting us to the hotel, but the way the roads were laid out there made it difficult to figure out what it was trying to tell us to do. After several missed turns, we finally made it, checked in, got our room, wolfed down the food, looked at some stuff on-line, chatted, and went to bed.
I had trouble sleeping all night, probably because I'm just so full of adrenaline from the excitement of being here, and probably because of the time difference or something. Although, maybe the cosmos was just trying to tell me that something was horribly wrong. After a restless night, I finally gave in, got up at about 7:15am local time, and took a shower. I got dressed, and booted up the ol' Lappy to check e-mail and hop on IRC for a bit to pass the time while Vish and Redstorm were still fast asleep. That's when I was blasted by the news of evil_dwagon's passing.
Most knew him as Furp. I knew him as an intelligent, wry, fun-loving, selfless friend who seemed to always put others first and be the first to spring into action to help anyone in need. I'm completely beside myself after hearing this news - having run the entire gamut of emotions while reading the outcry from the community.
It's been such a long time, I don't really remember when I first met Furp. It was probably at an MFM, sometime back in the 1998-2000 timeframe. My most memorable moment with him, though, was at this past year's Eurofurence. A fairly sizeable group of folks decided to head down into Suhl in search of a good dinner. Because vehicle space was limited, and probably moreso because we're completely wacky people, we all tried piling into theamazingkodi's Renault rental car. It had a hatchback and cargo cover, and Furp and I jumped into the boot to ride down the winding, mountain road. It led to a cacophony of laughter from everyone involved, but the two of us were just giggling like children. Kodi took the turns with some added pedal, and we were all shouting "Tokyo Drifto!" the whole way down into town. Good times, good times.
I'm still going to try to enjoy myself this weekend, but I know I'm not going to be able to stop thinking about this for quite some time. It's a real shame that someone who has helped rescue so many people from so many accidents was taken out, himself, in a collision with a drunk driver. I hope that driver really gets what's coming to him. :/