Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fly Fishing: Air Travel 2

Before moving to Montana permanently over the course of several years we enjoyed (really) some of the best airline flights imaginable...Planes nearly empty, on time, no unexplained delays on the tarmac, no unexplained returns to the gate after cruising about the airport for an hour or so, no unexplained aborted landings, no setting down in strange cities for no apparent reason...None of it, just hop on commuter to Detroit, take a leisurely stroll to the appointed gate, show boarding pass, take off and land in Minneapolis, always on time, once or twice way early...Imagine! then on to Billings and...well hard to believe I know but that's how it was...piece a cake personified...

Then one night in Detroit on the way home our 6 p.m. flight was cancelled...who knows? rescheduled for 11 p.m. no really big deal but...for the first time ever instead of an almost empty commuter this one was packed...overbooked actually as several of us were offered deals to abort...we declined and that was that except...every time since the cancellation became SOP...you did not need to have an aerospace degree to figure what the deal was....

About the same time we landed in Minneapolis late...missed our connection and rerouted to Denver...with no apparent plan to continue on to Montana...after an interminable silence on the airline's part finally...a plan but...would be "few hours." At last three of us, yes that's it, 3 of us...Gale, me and a neighbor who we had no idea until we arrived at the appointed gate...small world, eh? were herded into a really small plane and off we went bound for Bozeman at last.  Actually this turned out one of the niftiest flights ever as the plane flew at low altitude such you could ID stuff on the ground no problem. Neater still, for me, we flew right over a guy's house in the foothills outside Cody...the guy and the house I had not seen in oh, say, 20 years...and then we flew right on top the Beartooth Wilderness, low enough you could have probably inventoried the lakes on the way past had they not still been locked in ice...early spring fishing trip.

The last time I flew commercial (Gale has several times since, poor dear) we suffered packed planes, run arounds and delays at every turn, a record setting wait in a long line beside the runway...but no take-off, instead we return to gate and start all over...But wait, the crowning is yet to come. Depart Billings for  Missoula or Butte I forget which...No, despite a clear as hell night, one seemingly perfect for air travel we land instead in Seattle! Whereupon we deplane, sit for half the night before eventually making the return flight in the wee hours...If any explanation I for one did not get it...So there you have it...The life and times of a used to be fan of the airways...over and out...Chuck 

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