My day started off like any other, wake up, eat breakfast, drink coffee, take a shower. Only today I didn't have time for breakfast. Today I fly back to Utah. The float plane that I need to take to get out of Thorne Bay is a little late, no big deal, it's 8 AM, and my flight out of Ketchikan isn't until 1 PM. Considering the weather, I'm just glad they are flying at all. Well, as some of you may know, bad weather makes for a rough flight, and when the plane you are in is smaller than a VW Bug with wings, rough flight means ROUGH flight. At one point my head actually hit the roof. I've come to expect this on the "Beavers", but add an empty belly. Not a good combo.I'm safe and sound now in Ketchikan, with 4 hours to wait, and I decide to check in anyway. That bag is heavy and I want to get rid of it as soon as possible. I check in only to find that the 8:45 AM flight that I wouldn't have been able to make, has been delayed for mechanical problems. And if I want, I can get on it, and make it to Seattle 3 hours early. Of course, I would normally say, "No thank you, I'll wait for the plane that wasn't broke down." But today I'm thinking that the quicker I get home the better. As it turns out, the mechanic who fixed the plane is sitting right next to me, which makes me feel pretty good about the whole thing.
So now I'm in Seattle, and now I'm really starting to feel good about the trip, surely they can get me on an earlier flight, so off to the help desk. And the first question, the one that I just knew would give me problems. "Do you have checked bags?" Apparently it takes 2 full hours to get bags changed to a different flight plan. And the earlier flight that they could have gotten me on leaves in an hour and 45 minutes, but she will try. "Oh but wait, what's this? You are traveling with a firearm, that complicates things." Of course it does.
By this point I'm pretty damn hungry, and the smell from the "Chili's Too" mixed with my frustration at Verizon for not being about to get me online has come to a head. The smart move would be to go to above mentioned bar and grill who's name has nothing to do with the flavor of the food, but I go in search of pizza instead. What I find is a fish place, and as soon as I walk on by it, I think ti myself, "I'm going to regret not getting fish tacos for lunch." The pizza place I find has a lot of people just standing around, assumably waiting for their food. So what's better than pizza? Sushi of course. And why not, this is that Seattle airport, and it's a big airport, with lots of people, and it's a coastal town. I'm sure the sashimi is fine. Well, it wasn't fine, it wasn't fine at all. The salmon while not fresh, luckily had almost no flavor, and the tuna was funky enough that I'm not sure if it would even be good cooked. The problem with sushi is that you really don't know if it's any good or not until it's in your mouth, and by that time the damage is mostly done, so I choked it down with the aid of a bit more wasabi that usual. Then headed directly for the closest news stand, so buy pepto to try and ward off the inevitable gastrointestinal problem to come.
Back to waiting, and waiting at the wrong gate it seems. I've been content to sit at D11, when I should be at C11 in a different wing of the airport. A mistake I don't realize until it is past time for me to board my plane and there's no plane to board. I manage to be the second to last person on the plane, and we're off.
Las Vegas, Nevada, and I'm guessing it's about 85 degrees. There is a smell, not a bad smell, but not a good one either, just, familiar. The desert, dry, warm, home, almost. Two and a half hours later and we are pulling into the shuttle station. Almost there, just a short hike with about 65 pounds of luggage, and I'm at the front desk of the hotel where Jalee has procured me a room.
It's been a long summer. I loved Alaska, but it's nice to be home. Especially since I don't have a pesky job to get in my way. So now what?