August 3, 2016 (by Jimmy) – Back to work. Flying again. Angela and I haven’t been apart due to work in over a year. But if you get out a map you will see that there are no roads to Juneau. Since the project I’m on is here, it is impossible to stay in the RV. Life happens. Angela let me off at the Cleveland airport; I was set to fly to Dallas then to Seattle then to Juneau. Of course, this is me we are talking about, so as I went to the kiosk to check in to my flight, it said I needed to talk to the travel agent at the counter. I got to the counter and gave the lady my ID, and she looked me up. Her – I’m sorry Mr. Johnson but your flight to Dallas has been cancelled due to maintenance issues. Me – Okay, when is the next flight to Dallas and will it affect my connection? Her – there is no way I can get you to Dallas to make that connection; you will have to fly out tomorrow. Me – That’s not acceptable. I need to be in Juneau today. I have to be at work tomorrow morning. Her – I’m sorry, sir ,there is no way I can get you to Juneau today. Me – What time is my flight from Seattle to Juneau. Her – 2:15. Me – Okay. I don’t have to go through Dallas, let’s find another airport with a connection to Seattle. She looks New York, no; DC, no; Charlotte, no; Chicago, no. Her – I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t even get you to Seattle today. Me – Who is your supervisor. She points her out to me. I go to the end of the counter and talk to the lady. Me – Ma’am, my flight to Dallas was cancelled, and I must be in Juneau tomorrow morning for work. The lady down there was trying hard to help me but was not able to find a flight that would work, and now she says she can’t even get me to Seattle today. Can you help me find a flight that will at least get me to Seattle today? Her – why would you want to go to Seattle today. Me – Because at least I would only have to make one flight tomorrow instead of three. She starts looking. She looks up and says, “I see a flight to San Francisco that arrives at 10:30 then a flight from there that will get you to Seattle by 12:30” Me – 12:30 this afternoon? Her – Yes. Me – My flight from Juneau is at 2:15. I can make that? Her – Yes. Me – Book it!
This shows that a little determination and focusing on the issue and not being upset that the one lady was not able to help, can make a difference. Was I upset with the one lady?Yes. Did I let her know? No, I needed them to help me; being upset would only have made them not want to help. Remember this: Focus on what needs to be done; it will benefit you every time. You can always blog about the incompetence of some people later.
Anyway, I arrived in Juneau, got my rental car (roller skate) and drove a mile to the Aspen Inn. It’s a nice little hotel, but the elves that come and clean your room only show up once a week. That’s fine. Even without Angela, I should be able to take care of myself until they come on Saturday. I asked the lady at the desk for a recommendation for supper, ate, and relaxed the rest of the night.
My first day at work was pretty normal: getting my badge, the client finding a place for me to work, getting my computer set up on their network, and meeting all the players for the project. Before I got off work, I asked where to eat. I was told “The Hanger” was a nice place downtown near where the cruise ships park. So I went there.
My second day of work, I met the other consultant (Nancy Jacobs) who is on site with me. She has been there for nine months. After work She told me of this place just down the hill from the hospital called “Salmon Bake.” We went down there, and it was amazing. It was an outdoor cooking area where you paid one price and then could eat as much as you wanted. I went back for the salmon grilled over an open fire twice. There was a waterfall near the eating area, and we went down to check it out.
After we ate, Nancy wanted to go to Mendenhall Glacier, which is really only about 3 miles or less from the hotel. Angela and I had been here a few years ago when we came to Alaska on a cruise (it brought back memories but mostly made me miss Angela). As we were coming back from the glacier, we saw a porcupine crossing the road near a gaggle of about 20 teenagers. It was funny watching the teenagers chasing after the porcupine, every one of them with their camera phones held out in front of them (what has this society created).
There were a number of trails around the area; some warned that they were bear trails. We took a trail that is called a bear “viewing” trail. It had a fence on one side, so a bear couldn’t cross it without you having the ability to get away. This trail led to a stream. The stream was full of salmon. We walked a little further, and what do you know, there’s a bear. It was a smaller bear, but she was looking for salmon. She walked up and down the stream; the salmon would scatter. Then she started running, chasing a salmon down the stream. We watched her chase salmon for about half an hour, it was amazing. She did catch one. Finally, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel. It has been an amazing first few days in Alaska, I really do wish Angela could be here to enjoy it with me (and clean the room)…
Until later… Later…