Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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01/14/2006: "You're once, twice, three times an eruption...and I don't love you!"


So, yesterday was weird. In the airport they announced my flight would leave early but never said why. I had "standby" tickets from my sister who works for Alaska Airlines, meaning if someone pays for a ticket they get priority. So...after I got to Anchorage I found out that Mount Augustine had erupted several times and they were trying to get flights into Anchorage ahead of the ash plumes and they canceled all flights right after the one I was on.

My sister picked me up from the airport in tears because she just found out her husband was being deployed to the Middle East three days early so they could move the planes out of Anchorage ahead of the ash...so i went with her out to the Kulis Air National Guard Base where all the soldiers were in their desert camoflauge getting ready to ship out and they were having a little make shift pot luck and there were families saying goodbye and it was all very sad. I was happy that I got to say goodbye to George though, because that was one of the main reasons my sister Kelly and I flew up this weekend (I couldn't mention it before because until a unit actually deploys it's secret) and we were having the BBQ as a going away party for him but he ended up missing it.
:(
Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines canceled 28 flights and won't fly at night as long as the volcano continues erupting because they can't monitor the ash clouds at night and one flight nearly crashed during the last volcanic eruption when it flew through an ash cloud and lost all 4 engines. This means there will be a lot of trapped passangers (with purchased tickets) trying to return home and since my sister Kelly and I are flying standby, we may have to drive part way back to Juneau (several hundred miles and through Canada) and then take a ferry the rest of the way. A real pain and incredibly expensive so I'm reaaaalllly hoping the damn volcano will stop erupting.

The most incredible thing to me is this is the THIRD time that I've been stuck here because of flights canceled due to volcanic erruption. Mount Redoubt in December 1989 when I was flying home for Christmas vacation, then Mount Spur in August 1992, again, the *day before* I was flying home to Nebraska, and now Mount Augustine. I feel like it's some kind of curse.

Oh well, Be safe Georgie!!!! I'll miss you, and I'll be thinking of you!
Airlines canceled flights; Guard moved aircraft north


Replies: 3 Comments

on Sunday, January 15th, Kasia said

Volcanoes are beutiful if you don't live near them. There is none in my country.
And I can't even imagine how your sister feels....it's soooo sad. Being a soldier is really tough, especially when you go to the Middle East (which is not a friendly place).
Say hello to your sis' .

on Sunday, January 15th, subi said

that is really scary...i wish you well with your return trip home, and god, that is f:+)"(/ horrible about G.! poor Jeni! and baby!!! i cannot even imagine what she must be going through! :(

on Sunday, January 15th, Elise said

Hi guys, I'll pass along your well wishes to my sister.

Flights are normal again and it looks good for me to get home. I'm taking a flight this morning just to on the safe side in case it erupts again.
(my flight gets in at 1:24 jen if you see this)
:P
Wish me luck! Despite ash etc. there are also weather related problems with flying into Juneau...the day before i flew out flights couldn't land in Juneau because of the fog. Always an adventure.