Destination Juneau

I woke up this morning at my home in Meeker, OK;  14 hours later I am in the air on my last flight of the day from Seattle to Juneau with a short stop in Ketchikan. It’s crazy how sitting the majority of a day can be so exhausting, but here I am barely able to keep my eyes open for this last leg of the trip.

The flight from Oklahoma City to Chicago was on a smaller plan.  One that has one seat on one side and two seats on the other. I was on the side with only one seat, so no elbows to deal with. I brought two books with me on this trip in hopes that I would take to time to read them. They are Brennan Manning’s “The Furious Longing of God” and Jon Acuff’s “Quitter.” Well before the plane touched down in Chicago, I had read Manning’s book cover to cover. It is quite good and I will have more things to say about it in upcoming posts as I am doing a blogger book study with it. Overall it was an quick and uneventful flight.

I’m not a fan of O’Hare airport for various reasons, and today didn’t help. My boarding pass didn’t have a gate number on it and I couldn’t find any monitors that listed anything other than American Airlines flights. That was an issue since I was connecting on Alaskan. None of the employees cared to help me out, so it took me about 30-45 minutes to find where I was supposed to be. Lucky for me I had 2 1/2 hours before my flight. This year I’ve been trying my hardest to eat healthier. I actually had only had fast food one time this year before today. I fell off that wagon when McDonald’s was next to my gate. In retrospect, I wish I had walked down to the hot dog place a little further down the terminal. To try to get a little healthier, I got the fruit plate on my next flight.

I was a little concerned about my connection in Seattle because I only had a 40 minute window to get from gate to gate according to my schedule; and wouldn’t you know it, we left Chicago 15 minutes late. The other fun part of that full flight is the gentleman that plopped down beside me. He didn’t sit still for nearly the entire 4 plus hours that we were in the air. I got jabbed by elbows multiple times right in my side. Luckily with about an hour left in the flight he fell asleep for about 20 minutes and my ribs got a break from the pounding they were taking. As we were approaching Seattle, I got to see this amazing sunset outside my window and it reminded me of the glory and splendor of God within His creation.


When the man next to me got up to use the lavatory, I learned that the girl in the aisle seat had left Cape Town South Africa two days earlier and had several long flights on her way home to Seattle. She had spent a little over 3 weeks there doing mission work for class credit for her Bible college in Southern California. She told me that she had flown down through Paris and had enough of a layover to get out and walk around the city. I told her that I wasn’t a fan of the layout of the airport there and that I didn’t have any time to go outside when I went through there. Even as painful as traveling overseas can be with long flights, customs, and everything else, that conversation made me want to do it again.

When we landed I had 15 minutes to catch a shuttle and run to my gate. I have never asked someone to pray for a flight to be delayed before tonight, but I have now. Luckily I found my inner Carl Lewis and sprinted to the gate and made it just before they were closing it up, and it didn’t even get delayed; I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m out of shape. I kind of want to yell “KEVIN!!” right now to get the full “Home Alone” effect of being just in time for a plane. I guess I’ll refrain; I don’t want to startle the girl in front of me. I have enough people around the world who think I’m a little bit batty without adding all of these fine people on this Alaska airlines flight to the bunch. Luckily this flight is far from full and I don’t have someone next to me; I don’t know that I could take that two flights in a row.

In a little over two hours, after a quick stop in Ketchikan, I will be arriving at Juneau international airport. I had better have a bunch of kids rush me, and they had better be my nieces and nephews. Otherwise it would be pretty weird. Anyway, there you have it, a small glimpse into my day of travel. At 12 hours, it’s quite a bit shorter than the 19 that I will be going through on the return home. Random fact to close this out; my shuffled playlist of many different artists has just played three straight Avett Brothers songs, and I’m okay with that.

How about you, what’s your best or worst travel experience. Have you ever had the satisfaction that is arriving at your gate just before they closed the door?

4 Responses to “Destination Juneau”

  1. Mallory says:

    In the summer of 2005, my grandma took me to London, Paris, and Rome. Our flight over went Raleigh -> Atlanta -> London. We started out with close to two hours layover time in Atlanta. Well, first, our flight out of Raleigh gets delayed about 45 minutes. Then, we get to Atlanta, and there’s another plane in our gate. Then, we get up to the gate and the exit chute won’t come out. We finally get inside the terminal, and there’s about 10 minutes for us to get all the way across the airport. This guy is standing there with a wheelchair, and obviously my grandma sits down, so I’m thinking “okay, I’m gonna have to run.” Thankfully, another dude with a wheelchair walks up at that point. I sit down, and they proceeded to run like the wind across the entire airport screaming “GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!!!” over and over again the entire time like we were on fire or having a baby or something. It felt incredibly awkward at the time to my not-quite-13-year-old self, but is now one of my favorite stories to tell. And in retrospect, it was a lifesaver because we never would’ve made the plane in time without them; even with their help, we were still the very last people on the packed flight.

    • philip says:

      Lol that’s a pretty awesome story there. I can imagine an almost 13 year old not really enjoying that experience. But it’s probably a great memory to reflect on now. Thanks Mal 🙂

  2. We’re glad you made it. Kinda funny to type this comment when you’re literally 3 feet away from me. Ha!
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    • philip says:

      And now I’m replying from the same posistion a day later. 🙂 Glad I made it too, and it’s been a lot of fun thus far.