Thursday, August 27, 2009

Michelle's Excellent Alaskan Vacation

Day 1

July 28,2009

I am in the Alpine Lodge, Fairbanks. A long day of airplanes. It’s 11:15 pm Alaska time – which is 4 hours behind FMB time. I’m nearly on 24 hours now. It is light out – the type of light we see at 8:15-8:30-ish.
With the exception of the Ft. Myers-Miami flight, all my seats were window – “F” – and on the right side of the plane. This was fortuitous as it was the better side for best viewing. The Miami to Seattle leg was long. At one point the pilot pointed out Yellowstone National Park. That was a highlight. That leg of flight had the most turbulence and the most cloud coverage. The Seattle to Anchorage flight was awesome views, until the approach to Anchorage when it clouded over – it was raining in Anchorage. As we flew closer to Anchorage the mountains grew larger. They looked like dessert dusted with confectioners’ sugar. I am sure I saw glaciers. I dug my camera out of my bag to take a shot from the airplane. As luck would have it, it clouded over almost instantaneously.
I had never seen such mountains – such rugged terrain.
Anchorage was gray & wet. We had about an hour lay over, so I sat at the gate looking out over the tarmac. I noticed it appeared that many folks – mostly men – use the airlines to commute – not like the NYC, DC kind of commute, but “boots on the ground” workers, who carried folders of what looked like active construction projects. One man held a cell phone conversation as he sat down next to me in the airport. It had been warm – or so Alaskans thought. “60’s” was getting warm! Most folks didn’t have A/C – he mentioned attending a “moose roast”!
My Anchorage to Fairbanks leg found me sitting next to a very chatty man who has lived in Fairbanks for 25 years. He gave me quite a history of Alaska – explaining the flora & fauna, the population and industry, the slough & mud flats, the winters & fuel charges, even the dish on Sarah Palin.
All in all a most full day!

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