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