Flights with Johns
After I got home from my little jaunt with Mr. Mormon last night- actually he wasn't a Mormon - I asked. He told me that he was just like me.
I wasn't quite confident that he knew exactly what I 'was'... so I was tempted to say "so you're a Scientologist too?" But instead, I chose to keep my mouth shut and allow him to think that we're both going to burn in hell for turning our backs on God. At least I hope that was what he was thinking...
I guess it will always be a mystery.
I got back to the B&B to find one of the couples outside on the patio, enjoying the cool 10PM evening light, so I decided to join them. They were from Michigan and not really sure where they stood on a lot of American politics, but the man who ran the B&B came up at one point and made more than a few jokes about gun control and how we need to get some intelligence in Washington.
He also made a comment about how he grew up Catholic... but is now a proud Atheist. I replied "Amen, brother" and once again...
Paul (man running BnB) and myself got in to a brief conversation about comedians... ones he likes... ones I like... and the couple threw in their two cents by suggesting that we might like a family orientated comedian who likes to keep it clean on stage. So... if I were to hazard a guess... I would say that they were hard core, Christian values, I-like-my-gun, Trump supporters. Now... don't get me wrong. I am fully accepting of the fact that people have different morals, integrity, obligations and political views. I saw a girl a couple days ago wearing a red Support 2020 ball cap.
One. The girl was of Asian descent. Two. The girl was quite chubby.
It makes me sad that this girl thinks that Trump would support her in return. Unfortunately... not happening. Not ever.
Three. I can guarantee the hat was made in China.
But... what do I know? Maybe nothing.
I did ask the couple where they were from, and when they replied "Michigan", I was momentarily trying to place the state on the map my head... and the lady, obviously sensing my hesitation on location, quickly jumped in to let me know that it was 'below' Canada. I laughed and thanked her, to which she chuckled as well, and replied, "Well, it IS below Canada!"... Pretty sure 48 of your states are...
No biggie. Bed... so excited to go to bed! Decided that I was going to wake up super early... get myself situation on one of the bikes, and bike all along the Coastal Trail... through Earthquake Park, down to Kincaid Park... up to the Aviation Museum... and then on to make my 11:30am flight. That was the 'plan' anyway... and as I have found in my travels, my plans don't always pan out.
My other part of the 'plan' was to do the 11:30am flight... then bicycle in to the city... got to the Saturday market... bike back to the BnB and then get myself to the airport. Let's just say that I did go to the airport... the rest ended up at the wayside. And for good reason! PS- I threw my old shoes away. They're gone forever. I actually got a very good, lucky... and expensive break today!
I started my bike trip around 9:30am. A little later than originally intended, but I was enjoying my coffees on the patio... and I was writing... and taking my sweet ass time. Let's be honest. Finally I had everything packed up and jumped on a bike. It was fabulous... biking along the Alaskan coastline... wind at my face... Well... I'll say it was fabulous until I hit a small hill. Then it wasn't so fabulous anymore. I would like to blame the heaviness of the mountain bike and the fact that I was a bit sick... but in all honesty, my bike legs have taken a bit of a laziness beating over the winter and I haven't touched my bike since September last year.
Nothing like jumping right back in though! I was taking my time, manoevering the hills at my own slow and steady pace...when suddenly I realized that I was running a bit behind. I was going to be late. They'd asked me to be there 30 minutes prior to my little flight departure... and there was no way I was going to make it.
Not a chance...
Then, to top off the stress of being late, during one of my uphill climbs, my phone rang. Strange number... but I picked it up. It was the original Flight Tour places that I'd called yesterday. They had a space for me- with 2 other people interested- and they offered to hold off until I was back from my other flight... if I was interested. Remember that this entire conversation is happening while I'm struggling to climb a large hill / probably super small hill. I was sweating... I was panting... I was contemplating my time frame and space left on my credit card... I probably shouldn't do it... one flight a day is enough.... ugh... should I? shouldn't I? Fuck it!
YES! Book me.
My greatest fear was that she was going to ask me my credit card number to confirm booking right at that moment... and I was on a hill, couldn't risk stopping AND I was running very late.
She didn't. I promised I would be there as soon as my other flight landed... and she said that they'd wait for me. It was like an agreement over a handshake. At the top of the hill, I seriously booked it... biked as fast as I physically could. I felt like I was trying to get E.T. to the starship before the government got a hold of him. I even lost my headphones out of my hoodie pocket and there was zero time to stop and pick them up! Keep going!!! I made it. 15 minutes late, but I made it.
I locked up my bike... hit the bathroom... washed my face... and I was READY TO FLY! Once outside, I met the two men that were going to be in the plane with me, along with the pilot, John. Once introductions were done, he walked us over to the plane to board and the men stopped suddenly, very upset that it wasn't a float plane. To be honest, I thought that it was going to be a float plane too- but now I really didn't care because I had back to back flights going on in my life! The two men decided that they wanted their money back - and I sat outside on the bench- awaiting the news that I would be a victim of cancellation due to their miscommunication. Much to my surprise though, the pilot came walking out of the office and asked me if I was ready for my own personal tour of Anchorage...
"You're really going to take just me? Are you sure?"
He nodded and off we went!
The pilot's name was John and he was amazing. I got shotgun... I got a personalized tour... I got to point to where I wanted to go and what I wanted to see! It was absolutely incredible. He flew over Anchorage and pointed out all the main points of attraction, as well as gave me some of the history of the area. Then we flew around the Chucango mountain range. He showed me a few hiking trails and although we looked for some wildlife, none were to be seen today. Pretty exhilarating. Those men missed out!
I can't remember the last time that I was in such a small plane. We came in for landing on the little strip beside the lake and the main International Airport. All run by the same tower.
WOW... high on adrenaline and ecstatic with my experience... I jumped back on my bike and off to meet my next flight.
The float plane.
The next place was at Ellison Air and I met the pilot - John - funny enough. Think there's a pattern here. I told him that I was going to refuse to get on my next flight unless the pilot's name was John. That might be a bit of an expensive refusal though... Shortly after arriving there, a young couple showed up. Once again, I got shotgun and off we went! First time in a water float plane!
This John asked me which tour I liked better- and the answer I gave him was that they were both so different. The first one was a regular wheel plane that took me over the city and the surrounding mountain range for 30 minutes. This one was a 2 hour float plane trip that ventured in to the tundra, the mountain ranges, dropped down on to the glacier, landed in Beluga Lake... we saw moose, bears, eagles, seals, Beluga whales... FAR superior and I would have kicked myself had I not said yes. We flew right over top of the glacier and could see directly in to the crevices of the deep blue glacier splits... When I asked if he ever saw any wildlife crossing the glacier field, John told me that he once saw a bear get in to trouble on the glacier. He found himself trapped in an area where there was no way to go due to all the crevices... and ultimately that bear probably met his death. Even the smoke seemed to clear so that we could enjoy a bit of the mountain ranges from above, The Beluga whales were in groups of 7 or more and feeding at the mouth of the river leading in to Beluga lake - hence the name. We did stop at Beluga lake for a bit, just to admire the beauty, the calm and the peacefulness of the lake.
It was pure majestic and not one inch of me regrets the second flight booking at all. I said WOW for the first flight... this flight was triple WOW squared. Bonanza WOW. Once we landed, I was back on my bicycle and back to the B&B... I was starving because I hadn't eaten yet. I was going to hit up the Aviation Museum or the Market in town, but decided that I was perhaps cutting it slightly short and should concentrate on getting myself together and to the airport. That's exactly what I did. My best friend, UBER, came and picked me up and delivered me right to the South Terminal. Back to the lower 48, I go... THREE Flights today. 1. Regal Air - Anchorage & Chugach Park 2. Ellison Air - Beluga Lake, Glacier, tundra, wildlife... 3. Allegiant Air - Anchorage to Bellingham. :-) Back home again!