Sunday, October 7, 2007

Travelling to the Lower 48

My mother died recently and with a 2-day notice, I needed to get down to Minnesota. Thus I discovered one of the biggest downfalls of living in Alaska: the amount of time it takes to get anywhere. I got to the Homer Airport at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, and did not get to Chicago until 6 a.m. Friday morning.
I took a Grant Aviation flight from Homer to Anchorage. The hilarious thing is I saw one of my cousins walking through the Homer Airport. I didn't realize she was going to be my pilot! She just started working for Grant 2 weeks prior and is pictured above. She invited me to sit in the co-pilot's seat of the 10 seater; she didn't have to ask twice! It was really cool seeing all the controls up close. I also enjoyed seeing Homer from the air. Yep, that's the entire town of Homer above. There are many more homes, but this is Homer proper.
After a 2 hour layover in Anchorage, I flew to Las Vegas. After another 2 hour layover, I flew on to Chicago. What with the time change (3 hours), it made for a long, long trip, and not something I would want to do regularly.
On the plus side, for the return trip I left Minneapolis at 9:30 a.m and reached Anchorage by 4:00 p.m. By cutting my layover times, it also meant I had to run to catch my connector in Vegas. They should have taken off already, but since there were 5 of us who needed to catch it, they waited for us (thank goodness!).
A number of people I have talked to have moved back to the lower 48 for just this reason: it is so far from people's family. If a person doesn't earn enough money to fly back to visit relatives (and driving is not much cheaper, and a lot longer!), then it is nearly impossible to ever go visit. That can be a big downfall to living in Alaska. We are glad we have relatives here, if only a few.

1 comment:

Carol Gering said...

I'm sorry for your loss...and glad you were able to get home for a few days, even if the travel was tiring. I've been through the same thing myself in the past couple of years. I agree that being far from family is one of the biggest challenges of living in Alaska!