A View From 17A

I reserved a window seat on the left side to get a different view on my morning flight from Portland to Sacramento. Then I forgot to wear my black coat.

Oops! I got lots of glare and reflections.


17A Awaits

Looking forward to the view from 17A. I typically fly on the right side of the plane. This will give me a different view. :-)

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A View From 17E

I’m looking forward to when 7:30 pm is still light out.


A View From 16E

Another trip to Folsom for work. Having a window seat, I spent most my time watching the ground fly by.

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Another View From 4E

Another trip, another window seat, again in 4E.

Diamond Peak is covered in snow, as is Summit Lake. Mount Shasta “moved me.” ;-)

The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area reflects the late morning sun.

Terminal B’s link to the parking lot also caught my attention.


Headed Home: Planes, Trains, and Buses

My trip home from Folsom was, shall we say, “eventful.”

Leaving the Folsom site shortly after 5 pm, traffic through downtown Sacramento was light, dropping off the rental car was easy, and TSA was quick and professional. I boarded the plane and settled in to read my new book, The Cosmic Landscape. Then, somehow, something changed…

The plane’s chimes wouldn’t work. They kept ringing while we pretended to ignore them. Rather than have us wait in the chime-challenged plane, Horizon Air “de-planed” us so we could wait in the terminal. Two hours later,1 we were back on the plane and headed for Portland.

Upon landing at PDX, now 11:30, I texted Ashley. Unfortunately, she was unable to pick me up as planned. The driveway was too steep and the snow too slick. “Not a problem,” thought I. I’ll just take light rail from the airport to Hillsboro.

So I bought an “all zones” ticket and boarded MAX. What luck! I was on a train that would take me all the way to Beaverton before having to transfer.

A frozen switch at the Rose Quarter delayed MAX for a few minutes until someone came to free it.

As we approached the Beaverton transit center, now nearly 1 am, the driver said the train was stopping at 170th. Not only that, this was the last train of the night. Anyone who wanted to continue to Hillsboro needed to get off now and transfer to the 57 bus.

Now I’m not an experienced TriMet rider, but I was able to find the 57 bus stop, check the schedule, and see the next bus was scheduled for 1:03 AM — less than five minutes away! Oops! I had forgotten it was snowing and the buses were using chains. The bus was going to be more than five minutes away.2

Finally, the bus arrived, and the driver said my all zones pass was good to go. We all3 boarded and headed west to Hillsboro. I found a TriMet map on the seat across the aisle and discovered the bus was headed right by the hospital where Suzi was working the night. Hallelujah!

After what seemed like hours, cruising along TV Highway at 20-25 mph with the vibrations from the chained tires lulling me to sleep, we arrived in Hillsboro. I asked the driver if the next stop was the closest to the hospital’s ER entrance. Having exposed my public transit cluelessness, two passengers were eager to help. No, it was the stop after the next stop that I wanted. They pointed out the windows into the falling snow, prompted me when to pull the cable, and wished me a pleasant morning. I think they would have held my hand and helped me down the stairs, had I asked. I thanked them all.

Crossing the street at the intersection4 and entering under the Emergency sign, I texted Suzi and sat down to wait. I was too tired to read.5

Suzi came around the corner, gave me a hug and the car keys. I again crossed the street to the parking garage and found the car.

Pulling out into the snow, I slickly discovered why the buses wore chains. I slipped and slid the whole way home and pulled into the driveway around 2:30.

I arrived home 9.5 hours after leaving Folsom.6

  1. And with 2,000 bonus miles in our frequent flyer accounts. 
  2. At least it wasn’t the bus I saw pulling away as I crossed MAX’s tracks. That would have me waiting another hour in the falling snow for the next 57 bus. 
  3. It’s amazing how many people ride the bus at 1:30 in the morning. 
  4. Though not waiting for the walk sign. There’s not a lot of traffic at 2 am. 
  5. Besides, my new book is not the easiest read when tired. Photons, quarks, and W-bosons … oh my! ;-) 
  6. In good weather with clear roads, I can drive from Folsom to Hillsboro in 9.5 hours. 

Sitting in the SMF terminal, waiting for Horizon t…

Sitting in the SMF terminal, waiting for Horizon to fix the chimes on their plane. #delay


Photos From November 2

Going out to my car this morning, I glanced up. Orion hung in the sky, directly south. I love this time of year!

Traffic was light. I parked in PDX’s blue lot and waited for the shuttle bus. The weather was freezing1 and the shuttle shelter was all covered in dew.2

My point and shoot was in my shirt pocket, so I pulled it out, pointed, and shot.

An engine shot completes the triptych, the sun and camera conniving to make the engine’s black strip appear red.

  1. Literally — 32°F 
  2. Dewed! 
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A View From 8A

A 737’s engine nacelle reflects the pre-sunrise sky.


A View From 11A

An early morning flight to Sacramento meant I was at 41,000 feet before the sun peeked over the horizon.