After an eventful day of travel, I’ve finally arrived in Anchorage. Due to the time change my body thinks it’s getting close to dinner time, but the sun’s only been up for an hour. It’s going to be an interesting day 🙂 Unfortunately, my first task here is to do a load of laundry. I managed to dump a glass of orange juice on my lap on one of my flights, so I burned through my clean clothes faster than expected.
After returning to Seattle mid-flight due to an electrical problem with the plane, my flight finally arrived in Anchorage at midnight. Though I wish I could see Alaska from the air during the daylight hours, the view was impressive enough. I’ve read that Alaska nights really aren’t that dark (the moon is REALLY bright here) and sure enough, on the flight in, the mountains and all their majesty were in plain view, more beautiful than expected.
On the flights over, I had a couple of really neat seat-mates. One was a business owner from Detroit who was meeting her husband in Seattle for a Microsoft meeting. Her business is flourishing, a rare bright spot in generally dismal Detroit. She and I had a fantastic conversation about business and leadership type of stuff. On my Anchorage flight, I got to know a guy from Georgia. He’d gone to Alaska a couple of times on vacation, and loved it so much that he sold everything he had and went to work on Alaska’s north slope oil fields. He works 3-weeks on, 3-weeks off and is starting a trucking business (with a FedEx competitor) with his son in Tennessee. The I-sold-everything-and-moved-to-Alaska story is a common one around here. Alaska is like that – it draws people, on a whim, who would never have before considered living here.
Right now I’m sitting on the 14th floor of a high-rise hotel. As a FedEx employee, I was upgraded to a corner suite! My view out one window is of the Cook Inlet and the Anchorage Airport, out the other is downtown Anchorage with a mountain backdrop. It’s 5 degrees right now and a marine layer just rolled in, but it’s been a sunny morning so far, and sun and 20-degrees are forecast for the rest of the short (sunrise 9am, sunset 5pm) day. They don’t use much salt here, just sand, so most of the roads are snow-packed, making me extra grateful for the healthy dose of winter weather we’ve had in Kentucky. Anchorage drivers for the most part are very conservative – it seems that no one dares go over the (relatively low) speed limits unless they have 4-wheel-drive. Good thing.
I really hope to make this a relaxing trip, and I came with no agenda. Alaska is so huge, and I have to avoid the temptation to frenzy myself trying to take it all in. So I think this afternoon I’ll venture over to the aviation museum at the airport, and then brave the crowds at Moose Tooth’s for pizza. There’s a Trader Joe’s-type market across the street that I’d like to check out too.