Landing in Portland


Days 31-32

June 23-24, 2008 - Nome to anchorage to Portland

As we climbed above Nome just after midnight, the sun was on the horizon. It kinda stays there and moves around the horizon- rather than across like we are used to down South. The light and the clouds conspired to make some beautiful conditions looking out the window. I hope that they will transfer to you through the pictures we took- it was a beautiful flight.

Earl, Mercer and I celebrated the return to the U.S. on the flight from Nome, opening for the first time the box of miniature liquor bottles that we had left Florida with in early May. I think that the Ketel One may have helped me decide that the light was just right for pictures on the flight. The descent to Anchorage was another ILS in light rain that continued through the unloading process at Millionaire at PANC. The time change for us on this day from Sapporo to Anchorage is a tough one to figure. While on our bodies it was about 9PM, it was 3AM that SAME MORNING on our watches. We ordered Pizza to meet us at the hotel lobby- eating a little of it before heading off to try to sleep in the increasing light outside. We met in the lobby at 11AM and headed out to climb into the bird once again.

The FBO at Anchorage gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling about all of the great people on our team at Showalter in Orlando. The Anchorage people could not comprehend the level of service you guys’ provide to each of our customers every day. You also don’t let your garbage cans overflow- every one of them- on a day when they had one other aircraft on the ramp besides ours… No time, I guess.

Chris and I had this next leg- hate to admit it, but 99% of it was one of the most boring flights of my life! We were cleared on course direct Seattle (1265NM) at about 100 feet off the ground. At 2,000 feet (30 seconds later) we were cleared to FL 410 and that was it! We did nothing, saw nothing except a TCAS target once every 20 minutes 50 miles away and a frequency change every 45 minutes. We did see an airplane once, really we did. It was over Vancouver, over 1,000 miles from the start of this leg, that we saw the first ‘other plane’ in the air with us. The Crowded Skies, right?

Well, the fight was saved as we had a blue bird day to fly past Mount Rainier, then St. Helens and Mount Hood on the descent into Portland. Beautiful! Chris made an outstanding landing at Portland and we were met by the fine folks of Flightcraft, who took great care of us. Jim and Earl went off to Earl’s condo so Jim could see it. Mercer, Chris and I were glad that the hotel restaurant opened at 5PM local, we were all both hungry and exhausted. Eating with purpose, we all headed off to bed at about 7:15 Pacific time. The jet lag from crossing the date line can still be felt as I write this blog in the car on the way to Vermont on Sunday morning- 5 days after we went to bed in Portland! It IS almost gone, but I can still tell I’m messed up in the sleep timing department! - Bob

Lauren Kowalski