Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ALASKA DAY 15 Vancouver to Denver to Grand Rapids and Home

         We gathered with our tour group and guide at the designated spot on the ship and waited for our turn to leave.  Our bus was waiting for us and we were off to the Vancouver airport.
         After much waiting in line we were given a very thorough checking by the security people.  To prevent setting off the alarms I took off both barrettes and was holding my long hair up when they decided we all had to be wanded instead of going through the metal detector.  I couldn’t straighten out my arms for the lady because I was holding up my hair with one of them. Then the gilt edged Bible in my suitcase showed up as a suspicious dark rectangle and they halted the line.   All this time I am holding up my hair and waiting to get my barrettes back.  If I let my hair down I will never get it back in the barrettes with out my hairbrush which is packed away who knows where, probably in my checked bag that is already gone!  Oh the trials of long long hair!  Finally the lady wanding me went  over to the ex-ray lady and made her open the bag to see what the dark object was.  After a few minutes of consultation they finally decided that it was just a Bible after all and let us through.  And gave me back my barrettes.
         Up in the air over Vancouver, I began to take photos out the window.  I got some good ones of clouds and the airplane wing and cloud patterns on the earth beneath. 
         We had to change planes in Denver and had a short lay over there.  Our planes departure was delayed because of thunderstorms in the area and there was a long line of planes waiting to take off.  We were finally cleared for takeoff, just before sunset.  As we lifted off we could see a rainbow ahead.  It looked like we were going to fly right through it.  I was able to take a photo of the bright colorful spot in the clouds and also shot some photos of thunderheads and rain with the sunset glowing through.  As we flew past the storms the light faded and my pictures became too grainy to keep.
         As we flew over Iowa around 9:30 local time I began to see tiny bursts of what looked like dandelion puffs beneath us when we were near the towns and cities.  The announcement in the airplane said we were 30,000 feet up and that there were  fireworks displays visible below.  It was Saturday night July 3rd and many towns were doing their 4th of July fireworks displays a day early.
         Eventually we came to a place where the whole ground below was lit up with the lights of communities and then a large solid mass of lights.  I suspected it was Chicago and soon the announcements in the plane confirmed it.  There was a curving line where the lights stopped and all was solid darkness.  That was the biggest clue to me that it was Chicago.  As we continued east I could see this dark curve extending eastward along the Lake Michigan shoreline.  At one point I could see the lighted line of Chicago curving around the whole south end of the lake towards Gary Indiana and actually saw the shoreline of Michigan too.  From our high in the air vantage point we could see Michigan, Chicago and Indiana lights all at the same time.
         We landed in Grand Rapids around 1:00 am.  By the time we found all of our luggage and got in the car it was 2:00.  By 3:00 am we were home and falling asleep.  It was a wonderful trip!

To see more photos of our flight  home, please look up alicehuntstudio   on Flickr or try the link below. (you may have to sign up, it’s free and it’s easy and there are so many fun groups of photos to see from all over the world I think you will be glad if you do.)

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