Off and Running to Death Valley


Here we are at 16,000 feet soaring over the mid coast of Maine on a puddle-jumper of a plane… one day early. We were supposed to be flying out of Bangor at 7am on Wednesday morning, but a mid-atlantic snowstorm 800 miles to the south of us has derailed those plans. The airline was so sure about the impact of the pending storm on Philadelphia that they had already cancelled our flight, leaving us scrambling to salvage the front end of our trip.

The airline reservation phone number was swamped with people all trying to re-schedule their travel plans making it impossible to get through, so I decided to make a personal visit to the airport to see if I could make alternate arrangements. Luckily we live about five minutes from the local airport, and when I approached the airline ticket counter I was pleasantly surprised to be the only person there. You gotta love small, regional airports and the service you can get there!

I was told that things weren’t looking too good, and that if we wanted to re-schedule our reservation for after when we were originally scheduled to fly out, we probably wouldn’t get away for another couple of days… obviously not what I wanted to hear. Optimistically, I inquired about maybe getting out this afternoon – a day early – and the very courteous US Airways representative instantly went to work to try and make that happen.

It was 1:30pm on Tuesday when she informed me that we were booked on a 4:24pm flight to La Guardia, connecting from there with another flight to Indianapolis. We would be staying overnight in Indy before grabbing an early morning flight to Charlotte, where we would then connect and head to our final destination, Las Vegas. Not the perfect scenario for the journey by any means, but when faced with the alternative of being stuck in Bangor for another couple of days and having to eat the non-refundable hotel reservations etc., this seemed like a pretty good option. Besides, we should get to Vegas about 10 hours earlier than originally scheduled, giving us more time to enjoy the vacation, and more importantly, another sunset opportunity to shoot.

As soon as our new itinerary was confirmed, I immediately called Sam’s high school to have him excused and we hurriedly finished packing so we could make our new departure time. Our taxi got us to the airport in plenty of time, and here we are… on our way. My guess is that by the time we eventually get to Vegas we will be totally exhausted, but right now that isn’t even on our minds as we are both very excited that our adventure has finally started… even if it is a day early!

Sam and me reflected in some really dirty glass as we waited in LaGuardia airport for a connection to Indianapolis.

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