Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Today at 1 PM the plane was supposed to fly--I had a 1 1/2 hour connection to make in Anchorage, and 1 hour in Seattle. Weather looked great--no clouds on Ballyhoo, which the airport abuts. (The picture above shows that the short runway is very unforgiving of those who take too long to either land or take off! Both ends of the runway look like this.)
Got packed, went to check in, and they said, "Well, you'll have to wait a bit. We decided to make two stops between Anchorage and Dutch Harbor, so the plane won't arrive until about 2:30, and will probably leave about 3:00." So much for being able to make the connection in Anchorage.
This is the earliest plane out of the airport every day--nothing leaves earlier. The plane from Seattle to Spokane is the last flight of the day. Everything has to work! But remember, this is "When Air!" The next flight with empty seats without an overnight layover in Anchorage would be Saturday! George flies home Sunday, and they had space on his flights, so we decided we'd just fly home together on Sunday, July 25. That way if we get stranded, we'll at least have each other for company! Daughter Kris in Tacoma is standing by to rescue us at SeaTac if we get that far but miss the Spokane connection.
See--traveling in the Aleutians is an adventure in and of itself! We listen to fishing and cannery people saying that it costs them $1000 for every day that their bags are late and they can't work. Today we heard a man say his suitcase contained $6000 worth of sensitive meters, gauges, and technical equipment, and if his suitcase didn't leave with him on the plane, he wouldn't go either! (His suitcase was huge--not a carry on by any means.) The outside world doesn't understand the system here, and travelers look astounded when told at the desk that luggage arriving within 24 hours of the passenger is considered "on time!" (It's been 48 hours and the German tourists that we met are still waiting for their luggage.)
So you'll get a few more days of blog than you originally thought, and I'll get a few more days of this marvelous adventure!
Posted by Jan at 4:56 PM